Skip to main content
Accountancy FAQ's

Please find below some frequently asked questions following our latest webinar which has been answered by our accounting partners.

Stevie McIntyre avatar
Written by Stevie McIntyre
Updated over a week ago

Coming August 2024:

Get early access to LALPro for improved locum support. Streamlined solutions for invoicing, payments, financial forecasting & more!

1. What counts as business miles?

Business miles are miles incurred through journeys undertaken on behalf of a business. For example, from one trading site to another or to a client or supplier site.

An employee will normally have a commute to a place of work and these miles are not considered to be business miles. However, if an employee then undertakes a journey to a client of the business that journey would be regarded as business miles.

With regard to a self-employed Locum their place of work is usually their home address being also the trading address. A journey to a client’s premises etc from home is, therefore, a business journey. If the self-employed Locum then undertakes a journey to another client location this is also considered business miles.

Please note someone paid through an umbrella payroll is treated in the same way as an employee and cannot claim home to work as a business journey.

Business miles not reimbursed by an employer can be claimed as a tax allowable expense by an employee and a self-employed person at 45 pence per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25 pence per mile for any additional miles in a tax year.

2. If claimed furlough do, we pay tax on this? Can we claim again the 5th...even if doing regular locum? And is there any tax on this to be paid.

Furlough payments should have been made by an employer through the normal payroll system with the relevant tax and national insurance deducted and paid over to HMRC.

All income including payments from an employer should be disclosed on the self-assessment tax return. Any income tax liability will be calculated on the total income and any tax already paid, such as under PAYE, then deducted to calculate the income tax due.

Locums, as self employed, may have been able to claim a grant under Self Employment Income Support Scheme. Any SEISS grant received is liable to tax and NI in the tax year it was received and should be declared on the tax return.

A fifth grant is due to be made available soon and, again, can be claimed if all the conditions are fulfilled. Any fifth SEISS grant claimed will be taxable in the 2021/2022 tax year.

3. If I have an employer (hence on PAYE) and also locum, can I claim relief on things like work from home, uniform tax for example and also claim the first £1000 as tax- free business/tax allowance for the self-employed part of my earnings?

An employee can claim tax relief for any business expenses that they have incurred on behalf of their employer that has not been reimbursed.

The Government directive to work from home if possible has led to an HMRC concession for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 with regard to the home working tax allowance. The home working allowance from 06 April 2020 is £6 per week or £26 per tax month. The concession means that even if you only worked from home on one day in 2020/2021 and/or 2021/2022 you can claim the full annual allowance of £312 per tax year.

Other tax allowable allowances, such as uniform allowance are available but are dependent upon the individual’s circumstances. The uniform allowance is available if you are an employee and you have to clean your work uniform and spend your own money on repairing or replacing anything you need to do your job.

A tax-free allowance of £1,000 is available for property and self-employment trading income. If your annual gross trading income from your locum work is £1,000 or less, you may not have to tell HMRC about the income. Please note that the £1,000 refers to your income before the deduction of expenses and is not an allowance to be deducted if your income is greater than £1,000. If your income is greater than £1,000 in any tax year you must declare your self-employment income and expenses on your tax return.

4. What do I do if I have not received my P60 from my previous employer?

Your employer should provide you with a P60 following the end of the tax year. If you have ceased your employment and have a leaving date within the tax year you should have received a P45. If you received a P45 you should not receive a P60.

If you do not have your P60 then you should in the first instance approach your employer for a copy. If they are unable to provide a copy you can contact HMRC and ask them to provide you with details of what has been filed as your employment income and deductions in the year.

5. If I start self-employment in July 2021, does that mean I must file for self-assessment latest by next year October 2022?

If you commenced your self-employment in July 2021 you will need to complete a self- assessment tax return for the tax year 2021/2022. You should inform HMRC that you are self employed by 05 October 2022 and obtain a copy of your Unique Tax Reference. You do not have to wait until 05 October 2022 to do inform HMRC of your status.

You do not need to register if your self-employment income is less than £1,000 in the tax year. Please note this is income before the deduction of expenses.

6. Could you give examples of expenses we could claim for example if we are doing a self-funded course as part of our job can we claim that as a expense?

The type of expense that you can claim as tax allowable will depend on the type of work you are doing.

As an employee you can claim any business expenses you have incurred on behalf of your employer provided that they have not been reimbursed by your employer.

As a self-employed locum you should be able to claim any business expenses against your locum income provided those expenses were incurred in generating that locum income. You then deduct your business expenses from your business income to calculate your profit.

If you are self-funding a course that will benefit your employer and it is allied to your work, then you should be able to claim the training as a tax allowable expense.

Other expenses you may wish to consider are:

  • Professional subscriptions.

  • Travel.

  • Subsistence.

  • Stationery.

  • Postage.

  • Accountancy fees.

7. FT staffs taking a few locum shifts on weekends, do they need to be declared as self-employed?

All self-employed locum income where the income amount is greater than £1,000 in the tax year should be declared on a self-assessment tax return. Please note that the £1,000 refers to your income before the deduction of expenses and the £1,000 trading allowance is not a deduction. Once your locum income is greater than £1,000 you should declare the total to HMRC.

Do not forget to claim your self-employment expenses. In some instances, particularly if you are only starting in self-employment, it may be worth declaring even if your income is less than £1,000. Where your tax allowable expenses exceed your income, you can carry forward any loss to be set off against future income.

8. If I have a PAYE job and locum on the side but only make about 2-3k per year, do I still need to do the self-assessment tax returns?

If you are receiving more than £1,000 locum income, then you should complete a self-assessment tax return for the tax year. A return is required even if you have significant business expenses which result in a loss. Remember any losses can be carried forward indefinitely and offset against future profits.

9. I have a PAYE role and only work as locum once in a blue month. income from locuming is less than £1,000 pound. some website say that self-employed income less the £1,000 pound don't need to file a tax return. is that right?

If your self-employed income before the deduction of any expenses is less than £1,000 in a tax year then you may not be required to file a self-assessment tax return. You should, however, consider if your locum income is likely to increase in future years. If you have significant tax allowable expenses which result in a loss you can carry forward any loss to offset against any future locum profits.

10. How does IR35 affect locum pharmacist in terms of tax planning and being taxed more than before?

IR35 refers to whether an individual working as a locum through their own limited company should really be treated as an employee for tax purposes. Originally this decision was made by the individual concerned. As of April 2021, the decision for large companies, and as of April 2017 the public sector, has shifted to the business paying the individual.

If you are deemed to “fail” IR35 the business paying your fees will deduct income tax and employee’s national insurance through the PAYE system.

Those locums who are working as self-employed are still expected to make their own decision regarding their employment status based on their contract and actual working practices.

11. Please could u help clarify a question. I've heard there are new changes to submitting your tax returns. I can't recall but it was something to do with a new R code. And something to do with if you are classified as an employee of certain companies that have certain staff. It's a bit confusing. I was wondering if Foreman's could clarify that if there are any changes being made to tax return submissions this year. And if we as locums are classified as employees of companies where we might get regular locum work.

We have not come across a “R” tax code. There is a “BR” tax code which means that everything is taxed at basic rate (2021/22 20%) with no personal allowances. The BR code is usually used where there is more than one source of income and any tax allowances are being offset against one of the other incomes. I wonder if it is the BR tax code that you have heard about.

The self-assessment tax return each year is specific for that year and will have been adapted accordingly. For example, the 2020/2021 tax return has additional spaces for claims under SEISS.

As far as we are aware at this juncture there have been no changes to the way in which the returns are to be filed or any deadlines associated with them.

April 2020 did see the introduction of the Off Payroll Working legislation. If you are working through your own personal service company for a large business the decision as to whether you are effectively an employee and “fail” IR35 has passed to the business paying you. If you are a locum working as self-employed the responsibility for the decision should still be with you.

12. Hi. If you are only a locum. Who is not employed by anyone and do day to day random work wherever it may appear are you affected by this new ir35?

IR35 assesses whether you are effectively an employee and should be taxed as such. The decision is made based on the work contract and the reality of the working circumstances.

The decision as to who is affected by IR35 passed to the paying business in the Public Sector in April 2017 and to larger businesses where they are paying a personal service company in April 2021. Self-employed locums should still be making that decision for themselves.

In considering the IR35 situation with regard to an individual contract you need to consider 3 main principals:

  • Control

  • Substitution

  • Mutuality of Obligation

Other factors are also taken into account and each contract should be considered separately. If you are concerned about a particular contract you can have it reviewed by an IR35 expert.

13. If you are only a locum not employed by anyone and you work in random pharmacies. How are you affected by this new ir35. Is this ir35 for employers or employee as its confusing.

You are only affected by the new Off Payroll Working legislation if you are working through your own Personal Service Company (PSC) and for a large business. If the employer believes you fail IR35 they will deduct PAYE and NI from your payment.

You should, however, if you are working as a self-employed locum consider whether the IR35 rules would apply to each of the individual contracts and situations that you work under as this will help you to determine your employment status.

Remember you should consider every contract regardless of how long the contract is for.

14. I was contracted with a private organisation but has now gone unto the bank. Do I still declare my taxes even though I am being taxed already?

If you have been self employed at any time during a tax year you will need to complete a self-assessment tax return unless your self-employed income before the deduction of expenses is less than £1,000.

You should declare all your income whether it is taxed at source or not. A tax liability is calculated based on your income less tax allowable expenses and allowances. Any tax already paid is deducted from the total liability to give you the amount of tax that needs to be paid or refunded.

15. My professional fees are already taken into account for this coming year, does that mean that I do not need to deduct this from tax return as I will pay less tax overall via PAYE

If your professional fees have been paid for by your employer or you have already received an allowance in your tax code, you should not claim again on your tax return. Relief is only allowed once for the tax allowable expenses.

Should the adjustment be made through your tax code do check that HMRC are allowing the correct amount as they may be using a previous year’s value.

For more information or enquires, please contact our accountancy partners at Foremans LLP via email at

Did this answer your question?