AISMA in the news

AISMA members regularly write in the specialist GP and practice management publications, offering expert advice to doctors on the key issues of the day.

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Capita’s electronic pension certificate submission system ‘full up’

February 27, 2017

Accountants are currently receiving a ‘mailbox full’ message when they attempt to submit pension certificates via the online system provided by primary care support provider Capita. The deadline set by Capita for the receipt of certificates is Tuesday 28 February. This is to ensure certificates are processed by the end of the tax year on 5 April.

Andrew Pow, speaking on behalf of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), said: “AISMA members across England are reporting issues with Capita’s system. At this stage the only solution is for the certificates to be submitted by courier or recorded delivery. It’s very frustrating and to have the system fail just before the submission deadline is unacceptable.”

AISMA members are reporting that they are unable to establish which certificates have been safely received through the online system and which have failed to arrive.

Estimates of pensionable pay for 2017/18 also have to be submitted via the same online system by the same deadline. Mr Pow said: “If Capita doesn’t pick up these estimates then pension contributions for the next financial year will be calculated on the wrong basis. For many GPs this will mean contributions will be too low and there will be a massive adjustment to pay when balancing payments are due. Equally, other GPs will be paying too much and practice cashflow could be affected.”

Pulse: more from AISMA accountants on 2017/18 contract

February 14, 2017

The national shortage of GPs will lead to flatlining take-home pay for many GP partners from April, accountants have warned. In a Pulse article headlined ‘GP partners will struggle to increase take-home pay by 1%, predict accountants several AISMA members offer their views on why a pay increase for GP partners as a result of the 2017/18 GP contract changes is unlikely.

Accountants warn GP partners to expect higher tax bills in 2018

January 31, 2017

Higher earning GP partners may have substantially higher tax bills to pay in 2018 and should start planning now. With doctors due to pay their January 2017 tax bills today, the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) is warning GP partners to prepare for the worst this time next year when the impact of changes to the annual allowance last year will be felt for the first time.

The annual allowance is the increase in value of a GP’s pension each year before more income tax is charged. It was lowered on a sliding scale down to £10,000 for the highest earners in April 2016. For these doctors, if the growth in pension benefits exceeds the annual allowance, the excess will be taxed between 40% and 45%.

Luke Bennett, AISMA committee member and partner at accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark, said: “By our reckoning one in ten GPs will be affected and the sums involved are pretty hefty. I have been warning some of my GP clients to expect additional tax charges of over £20,000.” He continued: “Normally when you pay more tax it’s because you’ve earned more money. But there will be no more money in GPs’ pockets to pay next year’s tax bill than there was this year.”

GPs can elect for the NHS pension scheme to pay some of the tax on their behalf but maximum limits apply and many will still have to find large sums of cash to pay the tax.

Mr Bennett says his GP clients are looking at various options to cope with the financial hit in 12 months’ time. “Some are starting to save now, while others are looking at ways of lowering their income to bring the tax charge down. There’s also the option of coming out of the NHS pension scheme or dipping in and out of the scheme and putting aside the contributions to pay the tax bill when it arrives.”

He added that there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions since all GPs will be in a different position. “It’s essential to work with a specialist accountant who can advise you on the tax position and also a financial planning adviser who has specialist knowledge of the workings of the NHS pension scheme.”

Practice Management: January 2017

January 16, 2017

Ready for more locums in your practice? In this month’s issue of Practice Management magazine, AISMA accountant Barry Rigby has an update for practice managers on how to manage locum pay, tax and pension contributions. Click here to download the full article

Pulse: Mitigating the potential risks of federating

January 3, 2017

In the January issue of Pulse magazine, AISMA vice-chair Deborah Wood has some tips for GP practices on how to mitigate the potential risks of being in a federation. Visit the Pulse website to read the full article.

Practice Management: Managing cash flow

December 5, 2016

In this month’s issue of Practice Management magazine, AISMA accountant Phil Harnby explains that long-term planning is key to avoiding unnecessary cash flow problems in the practice. Click here to download the full article

Practice Management: alternative income sources

October 17, 2016

With GP profits under pressure, AISMA accountant James Gransby has some advice for practice managers needing to pursue new ideas on how to maximise income for their practice. Click here to download the full article

Practice Management: Pension auto-enrolment update

September 12, 2016

All eligible UK employees now need to be included in a workplace pension. AISMA accountant Rebecca Gascoyne-Richards provides an update on how the new rules affect GP practices. Click here to download the full article

Practice Management: Funding for practice premises

August 8, 2016

With increasing pressure on primary care, many GP practices are finding that their current premises are too small or simply not fit for purpose. AISMA accountant Andrew Pow outlines premises funding issues for practices in the July/August issue of Practice Management magazine. Click here to download the full article

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