Did you know that once you graduate as a doctor, you can claim back certain work-related expenses? In this blog, Dr Kiran Morjaria explains everything you need to know – from GMC fees to paying for courses.
How to claim
As an FY1 doctor, you complete a P87 form (from the GOV UK website) that allows you to claim back tax on certain work outgoings.
Practically, this means you could get tax back on anything you’ve personally paid for that you use for work. This is usually 20% as an FY1 doctor, but you’ll probably hit the next tax bracket of 40% sooner rather than later.
Another way you can claim back this sort of tax is by using an accountant. This is a good idea if your taxes are more complicated or you have multiple streams of income. However, using an accountant is going to be more expensive than filling out a form online.
What to claim
In my first year as a doctor, I claimed back tax on my GMC fees, my professional body fees and my indemnity fees. Everyone who works as a doctor needs indemnity (in other words, insurance) to be able to work. Sometimes this is included in your training programme, but other times you’ll need to pay for it yourself.
There’s a travel allowance if you’re working far away from your base hospital and you can also claim back money on things like washing scrubs and replacement equipment (for example, a stethoscope). It’s good practice to keep your receipts for these items in case there’s ever an audit.
Paying for courses
Courses are usually paid for by the study budget in your hospital. This means you submit an application to your training programme to say: "I want to do this course, on this date, and this is how much it’s going to cost."
They say yes and you then pay for that course. Once you’ve paid, you submit the application form, receipt and course certificate so that you can be refunded the money as part of your next paycheck.
Thanks Kiran, that’s really helpful! If you’d like to know more about how to prepare financially for starting work, download our Financial Survival Guide for medical students. And, if you’d like to hear more from Kiran, why not check him out on our YouTube channel.