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Money and tax saving tips for trainees

Claiming tax on professional fees and subscriptions, student card, RSNA membership and more

There are many ways to save £100’s of pounds as a radiology trainee.  Below are the most worthwhile savings we have found at Radiology Cafe.

Claim tax back on professional fees and subscriptions

If you are a UK taxpayer then you may be able to claim a tax rebate on professional fees and subscriptions.  The information below not only applies to radiology trainees, but doctors of any grade including consultants.

X-ray of a wallet
X-ray of a wallet

Why claim?

When you pay fees and subscriptions to organisations such as the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), British Medical Association (BMA) or the General Medical Council (GMC) you will also be paying tax on those fees.  As the expenses are related to your employment then you may be allowed to claim tax relief on these payments, thereby reducing the cost of your subscription fee.  Most tax reliefs usually go unclaimed because it is your responsibility to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and claim the tax relief.


What can I claim?

You will need to get the details of all your professional fees for each tax year and also details of your employer (you can get this from your P60 or P45 docs). Below is a short list of some professional bodies you can claim registration / membership fee tax relief on:

  • The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) membership fees including any examination fees if you are on an approved training scheme leading to a CCT.
  • General Medical Council (GMC) fees including any CCT fees.
  • British Medical Association (BMA)
  • British Institute of Radiology (BIR)
  • Medical Defence Union (MDU)
  • Medical Protection Society (MPS)
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

There are many more organisations and radiological societies approved for tax relief.  Here is the link to view the official list produced by HMRC:  

You cannot claim fees for revision courses or continuing professional development (CPD) courses, though if your training contract requires you to complete spceific training this may be allowable. Typically however these fees should be reimbursed via your standard study budget. You cannot claim for any fees paid for you, e.g. from your employer via your study budget.


How much will I get back?

This will depend on a number of factors including the number of subscription fees you have, your pay level and your tax situation.  As an example, UK tax payers can claim up to 40% on their RCR subscription.  Once tax on all fees / subscriptions is reclaimed you could save £100’s.


When can I claim?

You can claim right now for the previous tax year (the tax year ends on 5th April each year).  In addition, you can backdate your claim for previous years (up to 4 years previously) if not already done so.  You can do this if you’ve had multiple jobs or even if you’ve quit medicine. For the current and future tax years you can opt to get tax relief through your tax code which means you’ll get a bit less tax deducted from your pay over the year.

It’s worth remembering that an expense should be claimed in the tax year it was incurred. E.g. If you paid £300 in February 2023 and £200 in May 2023 then you would need to claim £300 for the 2022/23 tax year and £200 for the 2023/24 tax year.


How do I claim tax relief?

You just need to tell HMRC about the fees and subscriptions, and examination fees.

If you are employed then the easiest way to do this is to complete a P87 form online through your HMRC personal tax account. Here’s the direct link:  .

If not already done, you will need to first set up a personal tax account with HMRC  .

If you are self-employed or working via a limited company then the rules may be different and we recommend you seek professional advice from an accountant. Also if your professional expenses exceed £2,500 in a tax year, then you will need to complete a self assessment tax return and you can include details of the professional fees on there.

Direct link to P87 form:  Income Tax: tax relief for expenses of employment (P87)  

If you need any help or advice concerning individual claims and circumstances then please contact a tax advisor or HMRC.

RCR subscription fee discounts

The Royal College of Radiologists understand that certain circumstances can make it difficult to pay the full fee, so they offer a range of discounts and concessions to members. For example doctors who are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave may be eligible for a reduction in their subscription up to 50%. There are also potential discounts for part-time workers and they may offer discounts in cases of hardship on an individual case-by-case basis.

For more information, please visit the Subscription fee discounts page on the RCR website  

Free RSNA membership

Radiology trainees or doctors in a subspecialty fellowship can join the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) for free.  The main benefit is free registration for the RSNA annual meeting in Chicago each year!  You will also get a complementary subscription to the Radiology and RadioGraphics journals, which you can access online for free.

RSNA logo

To become a member of RSNA visit:  

Free ESR membership

Members of the Royal College of Radiologists (including trainee members) can join the European Society of Radiology (ESR) for free by virtue of their UK membership with the RCR.  Benefits include reduced registration fees for the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and free electronic access to the journal European Radiology.  Please note this is not automatic.  To register free of charge for full ESR membership you must do so via the following RCR website page.

Free ARRS and KSR membership

Trainees can join the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) for free!  Benefits include access to the American Journal of Radiology (AJR) and access to web lectures and online courses.  Members of the Royal College of Radiologists (including trainee members) can also join the Korean Society of Radiology (KSR) for free by virtue of their UK membership with the RCR.  Click the links below to register free of charge.

ARRS logo

To become a member of ARRS visit:  

KSR logo

To become a member of KSR visit: