HMRC have removed, from 6 April 2023, the concession that treated all Associate Dentists as self-employed. Instead, they will have to use the ordinary tests for employment to determine whether they are employed or self-employed.
Associate Dentists are those who work as a dentist, at a dental practice, which is not owned by them. Instead, they pay a licence fee to the practice for use of the surgery, equipment etc. and work under an agreed contract with the practice.
The British Dental Association (BDA) have a standard contract for these relationships, which gives the Associate Dentist a reasonable degree of autonomy and control. It is on the basis of this standard contract that HMRC operated a concession that saw these dentists automatically classified as self-employed and their earnings treated as trading income.
HMRC recently undertook a review of the employment status of a number of Associate Dentists and found that:
- The standard contract wasn't always used, being replaced with bespoke contracts.
- The standard contract was used, but in practice, the terms were not adhered to.
As a result of the review, HMRC updated their Employment Status Manual (ESM4030) to state that as of 6 April 2023, the concession would be withdrawn and the employment status of all Associate Dentists, both new and existing, will need to be assessed using the usual employment tests.
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