Richmond House Surgery

Making the transition from a senior partner to a freelance GP led Teignmouth-based Dr Karen Bates on a journey of uncomfortable discovery, requiring urgent tax triage.

Having taken over Richmond House Surgery in 2003, Karen inherited the practice’s existing accountants. Fourteen years later, when Karen wanted to step back from the surgery, she took the decision to appoint an independent consultant to review the practice and it’s business.

Under their guidance she was introduced to Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Healthcare Group, Seb Beard at Simpkins Edwards. Having been unsatisfied with her incumbent accountant for some time, Seb was immediately appointed by Karen to advise on the merger of Richmond House with a bigger practice. This was the key that would enable Karen to step back from her senior partner role at the practice to become a freelance doctor.

As a GP specialist accountant, Seb provided a full spectrum of services to the practice including: end of year accounts, statistical commentary, tax returns, NHS Pension certificates, payroll and bookkeeping. However, Seb has also provided a higher level of taxation and business advice using his extensive knowledge as a Chartered Tax Adviser. With Seb’s counsel and guidance, Karen was able to transition smoothly from the structure put in place by the previous accountant, to a new tax efficient trading entity.

It’s been a testing time, but, as Karen says, “I would not be as sane as I am if it weren’t for Seb. “It’s been a challenging experience”, says Karen. “Seb’s been a breath of fresh air. I get straight answers when I need them. That’s not an experience that I had with my previous accountants.

“Throughout the process of transition a number of issues have come to light, such as the use of a corporate partner in the practice, which Seb has been pivotal in identifying and addressing. With Simpkins Edwards’ help, we are now unpicking the situation.”

Simpkins Edwards has also been able to help Karen maximise her tax efficiency as a provider of freelance GP services, advising on the structure of her business and its contracts. An expert in IR35, Seb has worked with the Richmond House Surgery’s solicitor to ensure that Karen’s contracts reflect the true commercial nature of the engagements and comply with IR35 requirements.