Claiming Tax Relief

This article is about claiming tax relief on essential things for your job. Understanding pay & tax is covered in a separate article.

It is important to claim as it is a significant sum of money – 20% back on GMC, MDU/MPS, BMA fees and others (40% if you earn more than £50,000). If your total claim is £400 and you pay 20% tax, you would receive £80 back for that year.

If you’d prefer a video guide to Employment topics, check out our free course “Employment Essentials“. You can also find relevant articles covering leave, well-being, ensuring work-life balance & other employment topics here.

Expenses you can claim tax relief on 

  • GMC fees (including any CCT fees)
  • BMA membership fees
  • Medical indemnity subscription (MDU/MPS etc.)
  • Royal College membership fees
  • Royal College examination fees (if you are on an approved training scheme which will, or has, led to a CCT in that specialty)
  • You can also claim for re-sits
  • You can claim for associated costs of the examination such as travel/accommodation required (but not revision courses)
  • You may be able to claim “Mileage Allowance Relief” for journeys made in the performance of your duties, for example, home visits, or travel to another site for compulsory teaching (Note you cannot claim for ordinary commuting – travel between your home and permanent place of work)
  • If your travel expenses are fully covered by your trust you cannot also claim tax relief on them – but if they cover the expense at a lower mileage rate than HMRC you can still claim a tax refund and the difference will be paid.

The approved mileage allowance rates are:

  • Cars – 45p for the first 10,000 miles, 25p per mile thereafter
  • Motorbikes – 24p per mile
  • Pedal bikes – 20p per mile

HMRC expect you to keep records of the dates and mileage of the journeys you claim for.

Other subscriptions you can claim for are listed on the HMRC website

Claiming Tax Relief

The easiest way is to claim online using this online service link. The first time you claim you will have to register an account and provide all your details which should take 15-20 minutes, but every year after that you only provide information about changes in what you are claiming.

IMPORTANT: If your professional expenses exceed £2,500 in a tax year you cannot use the above method to claim tax relief for that year, instead you will need to complete a tax return under self-assessment.

You can claim for the previous FOUR tax years as well as the current tax year. Each tax year starts on 6th April, therefore if you wanted to make a claim in March 2021 you can claim from 6th April 2016 to 5th April 2021. If you’re claiming £400 of expenses each year for 5 years that’s £400 tax relief you would receive back!

Expenses should be claimed in the tax year in which they are incurred – if you’ve paid in instalments spanning two tax years claim each instalment in a separate year’s claim.

For example, if you paid £200 in March 2019 and £300 in May 2019 for an exam in June 2019 you should claim £200 in the 2018/19 tax year and £300 in the 2019/20 tax year.


Written by Dr Kirsten Sellick (FY3)

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