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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GPonline.com – tips on avoiding fraud

July 22, 2019

Two cases of insider fraud, which had a severe impact on the practice in question, have been reported recently. AISMA members put their heads together to provide a list of simple tips, published by GPonline.com, that GP partners can use to help avoid fraud in their practices. Read the full article.

 

GPonline.com: more on the NHS pension crisis

July 11, 2019

AISMA board member Andrew Pow comments in this article published by GPonline.com, warning that the NSH faces winter chaos as the pension tax crisis continues. Reduced working hours and early retirement to avoid tax charges means the NHS will struggle to cope. Read the article in full.

 

Pulse: What PCNs need to know about VAT

July 2, 2019

AISMA accountants Lizzy Lloyd and Rob Skilton, writing in Pulse, explain VAT implications for Primary Care Networks. Covering the supply of services to PCN members, and the implications of sharing a workforce, the article touches on many of the considerations practices need to consider as they start working collaboratively. Click here to read the full article.

Pension discrimination test cases

July 1, 2019

Last week the Supreme Court rejected a government appeal against a High Court ruling which found 2015 pension reforms discriminated on the grounds of age, race and equal pay. Today, GPonline.com reports that GPs have begun age discrimination claims against the government in a series of test claims backed by the BMA. Read the article in full, including comments from AISMA board member Andrew Pow. 

“Practices should ‘think twice’ before signing PCN contracts, warn accountants”

April 26, 2019

AISMA Chairman Bob Senior and Vice Chairman Deborah Wood talk to Pulse about Primary Care Network contracts. Go to the Pulse website to read the article in full.

Response to BMA ‘perfect pensions storm’ letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

April 25, 2019

The Association wrote to the Treasury in 2016 to highlight the significant issues surrounding the recruitment and retention of senior health professionals within the NHS, driven in part by the changes to the taxation of pension savings introduced in the 2015 Summer Budget.

Since then, AISMA has written a series of letters to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor of the Exchequer reiterating these concerns.

AISMA’s latest letter to the Chancellor, sent last week, asked the government to urgently review the pensions savings regime with reference to the Annual Allowance, and set out three suggestions:

1 – Changes could take the form of raising the Annual Allowance threshold to a position where it removes the majority of key NHS workers from this charge. This can be justified on the basis that pension growth for higher earners is now effectively capped by the reduced Lifetime Allowance. The Lifetime Allowance rules lead to a tax charge where benefits exceed the maximum allowed. This allowance has reduced over the years and therefore automatically caps tax relief on larger pensions. At the very least the tapering rules need an overhaul as they are causing “cliff edges” where additional tax is higher than earnings

2 – The Government could consider further changes to the NHS pension scheme to allow qualified GPs and hospital consultants to cap their pensionable earnings to give them back control over the pension growth they have in any one year. This is more difficult to achieve without a significant overhaul of the pension scheme. Simply allowing the option to say reduce contributions and benefits to 50% as proposed in the latest GP contract will in our view not have the desired impact. Changes need to be more radical than this.

3 – Allow the measurement of the Annual Allowance to be linked directly to combined employee and employer contributions, rather than on the benefit accrual method that HMRC adopt, on the basis that Public Sector schemes now have to be self-funding. This would reduce the burden of administration on the NHS pension scheme and allow tax payers to complete tax returns more accurately. This is the simplest option which would achieve quick results and allows professionals to better control their growth.

State-backed indemnity ‘won’t bring major GP pay rise’ in 2019/20

March 27, 2019

GPonline.com reports today on the new state-backed indemnity scheme. “Significant savings under state-backed indemnity ‘will not deliver massive pay rises’ to GPs as £60m is stripped from core pay, and staff and inflationary costs eat into savings, accountants have warned.” Click on the link to read comments from AISMA Executive Board member Andrew Pow.

DHSC response to pension scheme consultation

March 5, 2019

Commenting on the publication of the Department of Health and Social Care’s NHS pensions scheme consultation response, Deborah Wood, Vice Chairman, the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said:

“Despite the widely-held concerns raised during the consultation about the financial impact of the 6.3% increase in employer pension contributions, the increased rate of 20.6%, plus a 0.08% administration charge, will be implemented from 1 April 2019.

“For 2019/20 a transitional approach is being applied so that 6.3% will be paid directly by NHS England to the pension scheme. Therefore, from a cashflow point of view there will be no immediate effect on GP practices. In 2020/21 GP practices will pay the full 20.68% but should have received funding to cover the extra cost.

“However, the tax impact on individual GPs, who are deemed to pay their own employer contribution for tax purposes, needs to be understood. If HMRC takes into account the additional 6.3% when determining exposure to the pension annual allowance and subsequent tax charges, then even more GPs could find themselves affected by annual allowance tax charges on a regular basis.

“It will be essential for GP practices to see a clear correlation in their funding allocations for the additional 6.3% being added to their budgets out of which they will then have to make the additional employer contributions on a regular monthly basis from April 2020 onwards.”

Read a full report by Nick Bostock at GPonline.com

What should your accountant do for you?

February 21, 2019

In the first of a new series of articles for GP practice management information hub Practice Index, AISMA board member James Gransby, a partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson Maidstone, explains what your accountant should do for you – without being asked! From commenting on new developments that will affect your practice, to financial benchmarking and spotting any missed claims, the article is a useful checklist when comparing the service your own accountant is providing.  Visit the Practice Index website to read the article in full.

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