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Limited Companies for doctors 2024

The Benefits and Nuances of Limited Companies for Doctors

When doctors are looking to increase their income from private practice, one recurring topic they encounter is the potential efficiency of operating through a limited company. This blog post will take an in-depth look at the advantages and potential pitfalls, focusing specifically on the implications for doctors.

Limited Companies: An Overview

Briefly, the concept of a limited company entails setting up a separate legal entity through which your income flows. The company pays corporation tax on its profits and leaves the remaining amounts available to distribute to shareholders as dividends. The attraction of this model primarily lies in the potentially lower rates of tax on dividends compared to standard income tax on self-employment income.

The Pros and Cons of a Limited Company

The first essential consideration is whether it’s beneficial financially to operate via a limited company. The answer will likely depend on your personal circumstances and levels of income. We’ve found that about fifty percent of the time, a limited company is beneficial to doctors. However, the other fifty percent of the time, it’s often simpler and more tax-efficient to remain as a “sole trader” or stay within an existing employment structure.

Key Features

Salary

You can extract funds from your company as a salary. However, this will typically attract employer’s national insurance, currently at almost fourteen percent. Yet, having a salary might help if you’re not already covered for a full state pension – it enables you to be credited with national insurance contributions without having to pay anything.

Dividends

Dividends are a popular way to extract funds from a company due to the advantageous tax rates when compared to a salary. They’re payable to shareholders of the company, which could include family members who don’t work for the company at all.

Pension Contributions

One of the ways to utilize funds in your limited company is via pension contributions. The contributions can be made into a personal pension or a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), reducing your corporation tax.

Director’s Loan Accounts

Loans from your limited company also present an appealing option. They are flexible, allowing you to borrow money (a ‘director’s loan’) and repay it at a time that’s tax-efficient for you.

VAT Considerations

Doctors in certain disciplines may also need to be mindful of VAT considerations, especially for those involved in cosmetic procedures. Certain cosmetic treatments might be subject to VAT, but this is a complex area that may need professional advice.

Final Thoughts and Top Tips

Limited companies for doctors can deliver significant tax efficiencies particularly for high earners, but it’s crucial to understand the financial and administrative implications. Taking specialist advice is key to setting up your limited company correctly and ensuring its ongoing operation is efficient, cost-effective, and compliant.

Remember to check your national insurance record, be mindful of your retirement planning, and understand the benefits of legitimate tax planning measures. Don’t overlook potential insurance to cover you in the unlikely event of tax-related issues with HMRC.

 

Understanding the complexities of limited companies for doctors can pave the way for maximising your financial potential, giving you peace of mind knowing you’ve made the most of your hard-earned income.

 

Tommy and Steve from Nichols & Co. sit down to cover limited companies for y’all.

Nichols – https://nicholsmedical.co.uk/

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Music credit: MetzMusic on YouTube.

 

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