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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) 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?

Below is a short list of some professional bodies you can claim registration / membership fee tax relief on:

  • The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR)
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • British Medical Association (BMA)
  • British Institute of Radiology (BIR)
  • Medical Defence Union (MDU)
  • Medical Protection Society (MPS)

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

Comprehensive list of professional bodies approved for tax relief by HMRC  


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.


How do I claim tax relief?

It’s simple.  You just need to tell HMRC about the fees and subscriptions, and examination fees.

The easiest way to to complete a P87 form.  This is completed online then sent electronically or printed and sent by post to HMRC.  Alternative you can claim over the phone.  Full details can be found at the link below.

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.

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:  

RCR subscription fee discounts

The Royal College of Radiologists have a number of subscription fee discounts available in certain circumstances, for example doctors who are on the unpaid portion of their maternity, paternity or adoption leave will have their subscription charged at 50%.  There are also potential discounts for part-time workers (although this does not apply to trainees as their fees are already reduced) 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