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Practice mergers

15 November 2011
Issue: 4330 / Categories: Forum & Feedback
Three medical practices that operate from the same health centre are to merge. One of the practices is a partnership, while the others are sole traders

Three medical practices have operated from the same health centre for a number of years and now plan to merge. Two of the practices are sole trader general practitioners (GPs) and the third has five partners.

The new enlarged practice will benefit from cost efficiencies but hopes to restrict any staff reductions to natural losses. It is likely that the majority of patients will remain but additional capacity will allow the list to be open to a few thousand more patients. A new contract with the primary care trust (PCT) will need to be agreed.

If the largest practice admits the sole trader GPs into partnership will HMRC treat each GP as having a continuing ‘trade’ for self-assessment purposes or as having a cessation and commencement? Would this view change if an entirely new partnership of all seven GPs were formed?

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