Is Your Associate Self-Employed?

From April 2023, the self-employed status of associate dentists, for tax purposes, will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis with a number of key criteria to be evidenced, over and above the written contract

Although the majority of associate dentists are likely to still qualify as self-employed for tax purposes, it is recommended that practice owners and associates become familiar with the HMRC on-line CEST (Check Employment Status for Tax) tool to test and understand their own positions.

The assessment is anonymous and a copy of the outcome can be retained to help justify your position (providing that it has been answered openly and honestly of course!).

HMRC will be more interested in what actually happens within practice rather than just words in a dusty, long-forgotten contract saying what should happen. Time and effort may be needed to put in place new procedures and ways of working to make the contract a reality – a classic example is responsibility for locums to cover associate absences.

Remember that being self-employed for tax purposes does not mean you are self-employed from an HR/Employment Tribunal point of view – this is subject to different checks, criteria and case precedents.

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