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Associate Dentist

Associate Dentist

Our local dentist has sold out to a big "chain" of dentists, and one of the new "associates" put in place by the large firm has approached me to act for him.

I can see that him being of self-employed status is accepted by HMRC with no problem.

Is there anything else I should know ?

Presumably he can't claim for travel from home to the dental surgery - I am struggling to think of what he can claim for actually !!

I would be appreciative if someone who acts for any associate dentists could give me some guidance please.

I should probably add that he is Greek and only came to this country in October, but he has a National Insurance number, so I guess that is all OK ?


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21st Mar 2012 13:21

Associate Dentist

Generally following expenses are reasonable and allowable


About 10-20% of motor expenses assumed visiting clients (Including capital allowance).

Protective clothing (Such as tunic etc) about £300.

Use of home as office

Laundry and cleaning estimates.

Any CPD costs

Computer expenses


Subscription(GDC and others)


Note that super annuation contribution will increase the basic rate band.

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21st Mar 2012 13:57



Check it, but I think if it's NHS Superann it's a deduction rather like Retirement Annuity Relief

Travel from home to surgery is a definite no, but if there's inter-branch locum work that may be ok.

Wifes wages should be approached with caution, but can be allowed under certain circumstances. 

Dental Protection (PI Ins equivalent) 

Some of the larger "chains" tend to set up CPD, and if the course is residential then the usual rules should apply re travel/accomm/subsistence.

Generally Associates are ok, and you can be filling your time quite well- unusual to bite off more than you can chew but take care how you extract your fees....... By gum that was silly.


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By newmoon
21st Mar 2012 14:18


I think some associate dentists can operate though a limited company, though someone posted a question about this a few weeks ago here but didn't get any answers.

I looked into this for one of our dentist clients three years ago and there didn't seem to a problem with incorporation, although the particular dentists didn't go ahead and incorporate in the end.

If HMRC accept that it is self-employment then IR35 shouldn't be an issue.

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to jilliek
21st Mar 2012 14:29



I was told by one Associate that GDC went a bit moody, but he didn't take it further with them as no contract was forthcoming for any limited company by the payers.  Flat "no".  Shame!

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21st Mar 2012 14:33


Ok, many thanks to you for your help (and appalling puns !!)

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By vince8
21st Mar 2012 15:31

Share of costs etc?

As an associate I assume he will have a share of the principals costs, normally a fixed %. Keep an eye on private work which they tend to "forget" about.

Superannuation based on annual certificate, deduction on SA. As mentioned its not a personal pension so no basic rate extension. How can anyone comment on dentists then say that??   

Business motoring will be low unless he treats patients away from surgery or moves between surgeries, like some associates do, but unlikely in this scenario.

But, they are self employed. Years ago I had a challenge on this from HMRC and had to quote their own business economic notes. These were issued for various trades/professions but not sure they are still in circulation or available.

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21st Mar 2012 17:02

Business Economic Note 7

Thanks Vince8.


I found the relevant Business Economic Note (7) on some archive site:



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21st Mar 2012 17:15


Has anyone views on what I should be charging ?

It seems pretty quick and straightforward to me, but I had a couple of guys come buy a car off me about 10 years ago who were both associate dentists from Birmingham and I think they were paying over £1,000 for their accounts/tax returns !

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By DMGbus
21st Mar 2012 18:50


A non-VAT registered firm of accountants with adequate knowledge of dentists (if there is such a small firm with the knowledge) has the competitive edge on fees here.

Dentists activities in the main are are VAT exempt so are rarely VAT registered.

So, the "obvious choice" of a local larger firm is WRONG if they can get a smaller non-VAT registered firm (with adequate knowledge) to share the 20% VAT saving with them.  Local firm can charge £1100 + NO VAT which is £100 cheaper than larger firm charging £1000 + VAT.

I think around £1,000 fee (ex VAT) is fair given uncertainties about record keeping and the medical profession's seemingly common attitude to bookkeeping "let the receptionist or secretary do it" (even though they aren't trained as bookkeepers).






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05th May 2015 16:17

Tax Return for Associate Dentist

Sorry to bring this post back from the dead!

I have just picked up an associate dentist to do their tax return and just wanted to clarify a few points.

In case you are not familiar with the look of the payslips, the standard payslip looks like this,

Contract Payment - £10,000

Licence Fee deduction -  (£5,000) - 50% of Contract payment

Principals NI (Superannuation) Contribution - (£700)

Sometimes there are private fees and a 50% licence fee is deducted here too.


- Turnover - is this amount before or after the licence fee?  I am slightly concerned as if I put the amount before (assume £120,000 annually) does this mean that they have to register for VAT or because the associate is supplying an exempt from VAT service, this does not matter?


- Superannuation - is this an expense on the trading computation or does this expand the basic rate band, therefore a pension contribution on the self assessment return?


Thank you in advance for any help/guidance that is given.





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14th Jul 2015 09:47

Associate payslips
to keep bringing this thread back to life...

The income should be entered gross in the accounts with the 50% deduction being shown as an expenses. We normally call it "contribution to surgery". As dentists are exempt from VAT the turnover level doesn't matter.

The superannuation is their pension payments so put it through drawings in the accounts. In July the associate will get a SD86C form from the NHS confirming their superannuation payments for the year and this will go onto their tax return.

I hope that helps

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