Be informed and be prepared: new Dental Associates 2017-18


If you are in the process of securing your first Dental Associate post, or you have already started your self-employed career then the following accounting, tax and financial recommendations will be relevant for you.

And here's an offer to get your career off to a good start

IdeaExclusive Scottish Dental Show 2017 Offer

£100 off your tax and accounting bill for the first two years. This offer is available to 1st year Dental Associates who sign up with us for year-end accounting & tax services at the Scottish Dental Show on 19 & 20 May 2017. Visit us a Stand A12.  


Register as self-employed

You should register as self-employed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) within 3 months of becoming self-employed to ensure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance.

How do I pay tax and how much should I set aside each month?

You should pay HMRC direct. Tax payments are due at the end of January and July each year. If you become self-employed in August 2017 you may not have to pay your first tax bill until January 2019. It is good practice to set aside 30% of your annual income for tax.

Don’t forget that you will also have to pay National Insurance through self-assessment and some of you may well have student loans to repay.

Do I need an accountant?MACO performance

An accountant will act as your business and tax adviser, this will involve keeping you compliant with the law and tax regulations – submitting your annual tax return and preparing your annual accounts and providing you with advice on offsetting your taxable income with business expenditure.

So do keep your receipts and good records of your expenditure including any business or professional courses you attend.

Your accountant should have good working knowledge of the dental sector and be aware of the nuances that only exist for those working in the NHS. We would also recommend that your accountant is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Personal finances: mortgages, savings and protection

To get a mortgage, most lenders will require you to have 2 years of self-employed accounts as evidence of your income and your ability to repay the debt. The Help-to-Buy Individual Savings Account (ISA) is worth checking out as you save towards your deposit as are Cash ISAs.

You can save up to £20,000 this tax year into an ISA and you won’t pay any tax on the interest or have to declare it on your annual tax return.

For longer term savings, Stocks & Shares ISAs are also worth considering as part of your investment strategy as both capital gains and income will be tax free.
If you arranged an income protection policy whilst still at university or at the start of your VT year you should review this policy to ensure the cover is still adequate.

Thinking about buying a practice?MACO buying selling

If you are thinking about buying a practice, then your accountant will help you with sourcing funding, creating financial projections in terms of your business income and meeting your liabilities as they fall due and they will also help you to structure the business to minimise your future tax bills.

Lenders will normally look for at least 5 years post-qualifying experience and a deposit of between 10%-25% of the purchase price.

Where can I get financial & tax advice?

Martin Aitken & Co run accounting and tax awareness sessions in association with Dental Schools for those beginning their dental careers.

We also regularly attend the Scottish Dental Show in May and FGDP (UK) Scotland Study Day in December and we will be running sessions at both events this year.

So do speak to us at one of these sessions, or visit us at our exhibition stand at the events. You can get in touch with us direct by sending Jayne Clifford, Director an email with your queries: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will arrange a time to meet with you.

Martin Aitken & Co at Scottish Dental Show 2017

Good financial management and cloud accounting for dentists. When: Friday 19 May 10.45am-11.45am. Where: Room 3. Hosts: Jayne Clifford, Gavin Curr & Mary Blyth >more (SDS website)