Autumn statement brings added uncertainty to limited company locum GPs

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...I wanted to AMAZINGLY GOOD the new NASGP online invoicing system (LocumDeck) is*!! It is so good and so intuitive that I am lost for words and utterly filled with glee.

Dr Annette Steele, December 2016

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In this week's autumn statement, chancellor Phil Hammond confirmed his public sector off-payroll plans that, from April 2017, where locum GPs are engaged through their own limited company to work for a GP practice, responsibility to apply the IR35 rules (also called the 'intermediaries' rules) will fall to the practice paying the locum through his or her company. The practice will be liable to pay any associated income tax and National Insurance. Yikes.

HMRC will be providing a new interactive online tool (hopefully soon) to help practices and other public sector bodies, agencies or other third parties to determine whether the intermediaries rules apply to them or not.

Updated IR35 news!

Read our updated blog on recent developments regarding IR35

Update 6th March 2017

  • HMRC tool is now live.
  • We're seeking clarification on what GP locums should be doing in terms of ensuring their T&Cs  help protect them and the practice. Your substitution clause(see NASGP's model T&Cs) is likely in reality to have the right to send someone else to do your session, and for that to actually happen without the practice agreeing the replacement in advance. The second area is when you can decide when you do the work. Both are potentially tricky, and could have implications on paying pension too.
  • You may need to be more overt how you identify yourself to others ao that they know you are in business on your own account.
  • The old rules about being an extra pair of hands rather than standing in for another GP are not so relevant any more.

5 Responses

  1. Mori68
    I'm particularly interested how this affects OOH work. Please could you endeavour to find out.
  2. Rob Hampton
    Just run the HMRC tool 3 times for various aspects of my portfolio, including Out of hours services. Delighted that in all 3 cases, the outcome was that the work I do through a ltd company was reported as 'The intermediaries legislation does not apply to this engagement'. This includes work for a drug and alcohol service, a local prison, a company providing GP services to the local ED department, Out of hours service and other bits and bobs. Nowhere did the tool ask about the employing body. The original posting seemed to indicate that there would be a distinction between NHS bodies and private companies?
  3. Rita
    I contacted the HMRC today and was informed that sole traders are covered by the IR35 rules as well, not just those being paid through a limited company, as suggested by the heading of this article. I do not have a limited company, and mostly do GP locums directly for NHS practices with occasional agency work, and according to the HMRC helpline I should be an employee not self employed for both these types of work. I'm confused as this seems to contradict the advice here.
    • Richard Fieldhouse
      As far as we are aware, the specific legislation only applies to limited companies (and partnerships). However, status is also an issue for sole traders. The main difference is that the practice would foot the bill if they were deemed to be a 'disguised employee', rather than the GP himself.
  4. Dave Barrett
    NHS Trusts who use the framework compliant agencies will deduct Tax and NI before paying you. All of the NHS trusts and frameworks are saying everyone needs to be paid inside IR35 regardless of what the calculator states. If an agency or a trust was to pay you outside of IR35 and then was to be audited by HMRC and you was actually supposed to be inside the agency or NHS trust is then liable for all of your tax and NI that should have been taken at gross. This really stuffs the NHS frankly as they stand to lose a ready supply of Locums. Public sector are more restricted in permitting work for them via a limited company. This whole situation is not good at all....

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