Tax and Finance: Top Tips for Dentists

Becoming a dentist isn't just about clinical skills... managing your finances is a hugely important skill. Luckily, a new resource is out there to help out...

This book, written by Kalpesh Prajapat and specialist dental accountants Lovewell Blake LLP, gives an overview of basic financial information and how it relates to you as a dental professional. For me, trying to manoeuvre my first tax return as a dental associate was disastrous: it took me hours and I did it all wrong. It would have been incredibly handy to have this resource back then!

It is highly recommended that you engage with a qualified financial expert when becoming self-employed and completing your tax return.

Here's just a few tasters from the book. 

What does it mean to be self-employed?

As a dental associate you are a contractor from the 'Provider' (if an NHS contract) or the practice owner or principal. You will hold an agreement with the provider/practice owner/principal to carry out a certain number of Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) as well as how the fess are shared in private treatments. You will be responsible to managing your own tax, national insurance, professional indemnity and annual retention fees. 

How can you become Tax Efficient?

Being self employed as an associate you must plan financially to pay your tax bill every year. It is recommended that you save this money aside every month but methods to help manage your money include:

  • Having separate personal, business and savings accounts
  • Making the most of tax-free savings e.g. ISAs
  • Investigating other assets e.g. bonds 

When should I seek advice from a Professional?

You may need assistance when planning and managing your finances. Professionals that can help you include:

  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Lawyers
Accountants and lawyers may be members of National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers (NASDAL) which may be helpful for specific dental aspects of work. I think it's worth getting advice and assistance whenever you feel out of your depth... the risk of getting tax returns wrong is a hefty fine from HMRC so better to get it right!

For more information you can purchase the book here

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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