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Budget brings surprise tax break for GPs

GP's who have their own companies for drug trial work have been handed a rare tax break by the Chancellor.

In his first budget Alistair Darling announced the Government was deferring the bringing in of controversial income-shifting rules until 6 April 2009.

The Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), said the move would benefit doctors who have their own firms, typically used for drug trial work, who would be able to continue diverting income to a spouse paying basic rate tax for a further year.

Any GP practice with small amounts of capital allowances of £1,000 or less will be able to write off the whole amount in one year, rather than phasing tax relief over three years, it said.

David Clough, Chairman, AISMA, said: 'Despite a lacklustre Budget for many, there are small amounts of cheer for doctors.'

Bob Senior, director of medical services at accountancy firm BKL Tenon, said GPs had for once been spared by the Government.

He said: ‘Just for change, GPs have got some form of Government legislation that isn't set out to screw them.'

However, there could yet be a couple of stings in the tail.

The Chancellor announced plans for a Treasury task force to look to make greater savings in key areas of public spending, including health service commissioning.

Accountants have also expressed fears over whether GPs will be paid for helping a Government crackdown on patients' eligibility for incapacity benefit, under its Work Capability Assessments scheme, which the Chancellor reiterated in his speech.


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