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I worked in NHS for 10 years, after a considerable thought and weighing out the options I decided to quit to work as an agency nurse for various reasons such as childcare, flexibility of work, the variety, freedom it offers to work when and where I want to work and also to complete my Masters education. Although there are some drawbacks like missing out on paid annual leave, paid sick leave, pension and free in-service training; I still find agency work to be financially rewarding. The value paid in exchange for my service and specialist skills, my willingness to travel far to different hospital locations and to work at such a short notice is fair enough. Irrelevant of how the media and the policy makers portray agency workers, the hospitals and homecare services will continue to rely on the agency workers as there is an ongoing national shortage of nurses, a drive to meet safe staffing levels and upcoming winter pressure on the health services. 

If you too want to become an agency worker, you have three options to choose from

  • Work as a full time employee for an agency supplying temporary healthcare workers
  • Work for an Umbrella company as an employee who would pay you after deducting your taxes and NI for a fee
  • Work as a Limited company where you will be the director of the company & take your income as dividends. This is considered to be the most tax efficient option and all the genuine expenses can be included in the business overheads.

Setting up a Limited Company is easy and knowing how to manage it is vital. Just follow these handy tips

  1. Choose a business name and register with the company house. It will cost you £15.
  2. Open a business bank account for managing the business income & expenses separately (It is better to keep personal and business finances separate from the start).
  3. Make yourself available to work for different agencies looking for Limited company workers for a short or long term contract. Before you commit to work for them be very clear about your contract terms, the rates and how soon they will pay you.
  4. Maintain a record of all the transactions and do your accounting on the go using a FREE virtual accountant chatbot like ReachRobo on facebook messenger. See the slides below to know how ReachRobo can save you time and money.
  5. Register for Self Assessment online on the government gateway website.
  6. Do HMRC year end tax returns yourself using the submit Self Assessment online link. Be aware that from April 2018 HMRC tax submissions will be digital and Making Tax Digital (MTD) is expected to be accomplished by 2020. You have to do it quarterly as you go along. Be an early adopter to this change.
  7. For submitting the corporation tax, an accountant can help you usually for an one off fee.

Accounting for limited company nurses and healthcare workers can be done on the go easily with the ingenious ReachRobo. The ReachRobo chatbot will be your Virtual Accountant. He can help you manage your income, expenses, billing and accounting directly from your facebook messenger. Also it gives you instant receipts in PDF file format and update you about the account balance. From the dashboard you can view all the transactions over a period of time, download and print all the reports like profit/loss report and balance sheet that you or your accountant will need for HMRC tax returns. ReachRobo is FREE for LIFE for a single user and you only pay for additional users.

If you want to know more about this please visit Reach Accountant UK Page on Facebook and click on ‘USE APP’ on the right. Say ‘Hi’ to ReachRobo and explore how it works. If you still have trouble I can help you via facebook, whatsapp or skype. Do let me know @ReachAccountantUK on Facebook.

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