The Campbell Dallas dental team are busy completing the annual GP234 form on behalf of our many dental clients who offer NHS services. The form has a filing deadline of 28 February 2018 to ensure receipt of the four quarterly payments due for financial year 2018/2019.
On the face of it, this is not the most onerous of tasks given the only disclosure is a percentage figure based on a simple arithmetical calculation but scratch below the surface and you will quickly discover a series of technical details to be taken into account.
Making sure the numbers add up
The form reports a Practice’s NHS earnings as a percentage of total Practice earnings. Please take care when filling in as there are clear guidelines from Practitioner Services as to what should be included either by way of NHS earnings or total Practice earnings. For example, are you comfortable with how to treat private work carried out on an NHS patient? How do you treat the various NHS allowances? Where do you include retail sales or any grant receipts?
The filing deadline is 28 February 2018 to ensure full receipt of the Practice entitlement for 2018/2019. If you submit one day late you lose the first quarter payment, with no hope of an appeal. There are also subsequent staggered dates for late filing after which subsequent quarter payments will also be forfeited.
Those already familiar with the form will be aware both the designated dentist and Practice accountant need to sign the form. As a point of particular interest, the form is sent to ‘Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services’ and therein lies the alert – counter fraud. Whilst the GP234 form has been in existence for only a relatively short time, I’m surprised there has been little by way of audit, so far, to vouch authenticity of the prior submitted claim for percentage NHS earnings. The roll out of the auditing process is perhaps long overdue and is likely to cause complexity when it arrives.
By counter signing the form, your accountant is also exposing themselves to a possible future accusation of fraud if they have not carried out sufficient background checks on the Practice data before signing off. If notice of an intended audit arrived in the post tomorrow, would your records support the percentage calculation enough to withstand scrutiny? That’s the true test.
As a firm, we have spent appropriate time to make sure we fully understand the mechanics of the calculation and as a result our many dental clients are fully protected if the news of an impending audit arrives. If an accountant simply accepts a suggested percentage NHS figure without proper verification, both parties risk future consequences.
If you have any concerns about your annual GP234 form please get in touch:
01786 460 030
The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in February 2018. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.