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Dental Associate Question of the Month

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7 September 2015

 We are often asked various questions by dental associates about their tax affairs. This month we answer the following question:

“What course costs can be claimed?”

For the self-employed, there are two distinctions to be considered. Firstly, whether the cost is wholly and exclusively incurred for the purpose of the existing trade and secondly, whether the cost is capital or revenue in nature.

If the purpose of the course is related to the dental work you carry out it is likely the “wholly and exclusively” condition will be met. Typically, courses may specify a certain number of hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and any certificates / course notes which demonstrate this should be kept.

“Capital or revenue” refers to the content of the course. If the course is to maintain or update existing skills which you already possess, then the expenditure is normally classed as revenue in nature and is an allowable deduction against your taxable income. If the course is to gain new skills or knowledge, HMRC take the view that this is of enduring benefit to the trade and therefore capital in nature. No deduction is therefore allowable.

Any incidental costs, for example travel, course material or stationery, will follow the tax treatment of the course itself.


The information published within this document has been prepared as a guide to topics of current financial and business interest.  This information does not constitute professional advice; we strongly recommend you take professional advice before making decisions on matters discussed here. Although we endeavour to ensure such information is accurate and up-to-date, we make no representation or warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and accept no liability for any loss whatsoever arising from your use of such information.