GPC calls for capital gains tax exemption for GP practices

Exclusive - Tax break would encourage investment in premises.

The BMA is considering asking the government to exempt GP practices from capital gains tax on property, GP can reveal.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said that the move would encourage the profession to invest more in its premises.

'Why would I want to move to new premises, if it meant a huge tax bill?' he told GP. 'Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.'

Capital gains tax is currently charged at 18 per cent, although practices can claim 'entrepreneurs' relief', lowering this to 10 per cent.

This means that GPs can face a huge tax bill when selling premises, even if they plan to reinvest in new buildings.

Dr Holden said that the tax explains much of GPs' reluctance to move. Senior partners nearing retirement see little point in investing in new premises if it means paying a capital gains bill, he said.

'There's an argument for an industry-wide exemption when a doctor sells up to move to better premises,' he said.

The move would do much to increase bankers' interest in safe investments such as practice premises.

Dr Holden said it was early days, but the GPC was considering approaching the government with the idea. He denied that it could be politically difficult to give preferential status to GPs, pointing out: 'The government gives tax breaks to petroleum companies.'

However, Laurence Slavin, an accountant with Ramsay Brown & Partners, warned there was no precedent for such an industry-wide exemption.

It would be more realistic to approach PCTs for compensation for capital gains tax bills, he added.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Sign pointing to hospital

NHS England seeks to clarify GPs' responsibilities when using advice and guidance

New guidance from NHS England has set out the clinical responsibilities and medicolegal...

Widespread joint pain - red flag symptoms

Presentations and red flag symptoms that may alert you to potentially serious conditions...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Supporting neurodivergent doctors and staff in general practice

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Beckie Akroyd and Dr Catherine Bell about...

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

General practice in Scotland 'in serious trouble', warns BMA Scotland GP chair

General practice in Scotland has reached a tipping point, with demand far outstripping...

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...