How to choose the right accountant for medical professionals

How to choose the right accountant for medical professionals

As a medical or healthcare professional, your time is extremely valuable. We also understand that your time can be very limited, leaving certain activities like organising your finances often have to be left on the backburner for much of the time.

In our experience, this often means you get less and less time to focus on your tax affairs, particularly as your career develops. Many surgeons and doctors usually end up leaving getting in touch with an accountant until it is too late; times like when a medical professional:

  • is under threat of investigation from HM Revenue and Customs
  • is facing penalties from HMRC for late filings
  • has not declared parts of their income for a number of years and could face a large bill
  • realises they have been paying more tax than they need to

With the time pressures a career choice like yours can bring, it can be easy to push your own financial and tax issues to the bottom of your priority list. This can be an extremely dangerous approach; posing risks to both your reputation and your wallet.

Finding an accountant you can trust to take care of your tax liabilities for you, keep you compliant, and make sure you stay on HMRC’s good side is absolutely critical for busy medical professionals. But how do you choose the accountant that is right for you?

Here is the Smart Team’s handy guide to finding the perfect accountant for medical professionals.

 

When do you need an accountant?

As a healthcare professional, it is not a case of if you will need an accountant, but when.

Let’s face it – tax is not simple. Despite the government having a whole department dedicated to the simplification of the tax system, many clients still come to us at a loss about new legislation, regulations, and deadlines that may affect them.

Fortunately, it’s our job to stay on top of all that for you. We keep our finger on the pulse of all new changes the taxman makes to ensure you are compliant at all times.

On top of this, HMRC have become increasingly aggressive in their tactics to prevent tax evasion in the UK and they have even taken to setting up special task forces for each specific sector – including a health and wellbeing tax plan.

Your accountant will know everything there is to know about these plans, making sure you stay on HMRC’s good side. Now may be the perfect time to team up with an experienced accountant:

  • If you’re employed by the NHS but also carry out private practice work too, since your income tax and National Insurance liabilities will be affected by various forms of income.
  • To better structure your tax affairs to make you more tax efficient; significantly lowering your tax bill each year.
  • To help you claim tax relief on your professional subscriptions and indemnity insurance.
  • To take care of your personal pension contributions, making them as tax efficient as possible to help you save more for your future.

We can also help with a number of other personal finance issues, for example, if you rent out a second home. The Smart Team also tailors your accounting service to your individual situation to help you maximise your earnings and savings.

No matter what your financial situation, finding an accountant that understands you and what you want from your finances is the best place to start.

 

What should you look for?

Of course, as a medical professional, it is always wise to find an accountant with knowledge and experience in working with those in your field.

General accountants may be able to help with your tax returns and so on, but only those with specialist industry knowledge can help to prepare your finances for any upcoming changes to legislation that may impact their clients in the medical profession.

Where possible, try to find an accountant that has worked with other medical professionals before. This will really help when maximising your take-home pay, as rules for things like expenses can be wildly different for a self-employed doctor than an IT contractor.

 

Are they competitively priced?

The price an accountancy firm charges can vary greatly depending on where you go, but you should always look for a cost that is relative to your earnings and the value they can provide. The good news is, a skilled accountant always pays for themselves over time in the significant savings they’ll make on your tax bill.

 

Let us help

If you’re looking for an expert, chartered accountant that understands your needs as a medical professional, talk to the Smart Team today. Please call us today on 01202 577 500 or email us at info@yoursmartteam.co.uk for experienced and professional guidance.

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