5 Essential Financial Checks

A 'spring clean' checklist for junior doctors

It's spring and the time of year many of us spring clean our house. Why not spring clean your finances too with these 5 essential financial checks.

1.  Claim your tax back
Doctors Claim Your Tax BackThe Inland Revenue allow you to claim tax relief on a number of your expenses, even if you are in an employed position.

If you haven’t claimed previously, you can go back 4 years. With your GMC subscription alone being over £400 per annum, this can amount to a rebate of £160 for each year - a good return for an hour’s work!

2. Check your tax code
One of the most common errors we see on payslips is an incorrect tax code. This normally happens when changing Trusts.

If the tax code on your payslip is reading 000BR or simply BR, you’re on an incorrect tax code. Depending on your earnings, you may be owed tax or, worst case scenario, you could owe the taxman.

3. Check your NHS pension
The NHS is one of the largest employers in Europe. With many medics changing Trusts regularly, it can be difficult for the NHS Pensions Agency to keep accurate records.

It’s well worth periodically checking that the Agency holds correct details of your service history. You don’t want to find that, at age 60, they missed one of your rotations.

4. Check your income protection
This is arguably the most important facet of all your financial planning. Income protection ensures that you retain your financial independence if you’re unable to work through sickness or illness.

The contract should reflect your income and, most importantly, cover you under your own occupation. The cost is less than most people think too.

5.  Get a financial check
Financial Health CheckSitting down with a financial adviser for a financial check will help you create a strategy for your future.

If you work hard to earn your money then it’s worthwhile investing an hour to check that your money is working for you.

A good financial adviser will have an in-depth knowledge of your career progression and the NHS benefits package.

Article by Max Spurgeon
Specialist IFA to Doctors and Dentists and Director of Legal & Medical Investments
May 2011

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