Tax System in the UK A Guide for IMG Junior Doctors

Tax System in the UK: A Guide for IMG Junior Doctors

Hello, esteemed colleagues and future psychiatrists! If you’re an International Medical Graduate (IMG) commencing your career journey in the United Kingdom, understanding the basics of the tax system in the UK is vital. It may initially appear challenging, especially when your primary focus is working toward your MRCPsych exams. However, comprehending the tax system is integral to managing your finances. This article aims to simplify the UK tax system, provide essential tips for IMGs, and highlight how containing these elements can coexist with your MRCPsych preparation.

Diving into Tax System in the UK

In the UK, the tax year commences on April 6th and concludes on April 5th of the succeeding year. The primary taxation form for earnings is the Income Tax, applied to your annual earnings. As an IMG junior doctor, you’ll notice this as a deduction from your monthly salary. This happens through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system implemented by your employer, leaving minimal tax-related tasks for you.

Understanding Income Tax Bands

Income Tax System in the UK operates on a tiered system, with the amount of tax you pay being proportional to your earnings. In the 2022/23 tax year, for instance, you’re entitled to a tax-free Personal Allowance for the first £12,570 you earn. Beyond this allowance, you pay:

  • 20% on earnings between £12,571 and £50,270 (Basic rate)
  • 40% on earnings between £50,271 and £150,000 (Higher rate)
  • 45% on earnings over £150,000 (Additional rate)

These tax bands are prone to annual changes, emphasizing the importance of staying updated with the latest tax laws.

National Insurance Contributions

Besides Income Tax, if your earnings cross a certain limit, you’ll also contribute towards National Insurance. This contribution, like your Income Tax, is automatically deducted from your salary. National Insurance contributions primarily fund various state benefits, including the State Pension and National Health Service (NHS).

Repayment of Student Loans

If you studied in the UK and have a student loan to repay, repayments will start once your earnings surpass a specific threshold. This threshold varies depending on the type of loan. Just like other deductions, these repayments are automated and deducted from your monthly salary.

Balancing Finances with MRCPsych Preparation

As a junior doctor, balancing your finances can seem challenging, especially while preparing for your MRCPsych exams. However, understanding your financial obligations, including taxes, and planning accordingly can make this task manageable.

Your MRCPsych preparation, for example, will involve certain expenditures like enrolling in an MRCPsych course, purchasing revision resources, and subscribing to platforms that offer practice MRCPsych questions. At, we support your MRCPsych revision with an array of resources, keep you informed about MRCPsych exam dates, and provide detailed preparation for MRCPsych Paper A and Paper B.

Tax Deductible Expenses: An Advantage

Certain expenses related to your employment and MRCPsych preparation may be tax-deductible, helping you save money. For instance, professional fees (like your GMC and Royal College of Psychiatrists subscriptions), medical equipment costs, and expenses incurred for MRCPsych courses and exams can qualify for tax relief. Maintaining records of these expenses is crucial, as they might reduce your taxable income, resulting in lower tax liability.

Conclusion: Balancing Act

While the UK tax system might initially seem complex, especially for IMG junior doctors, a basic understanding can make it much more manageable. And remember, while your career as a psychiatrist is taking off, your MRCPsych preparation is just as essential.

At, we understand the unique challenges faced by IMGs. We are committed to helping you on your journey with our comprehensive MRCPsych course, an extensive collection of MRCPsych questions (over 5000+ MCQs), and our user-friendly mobile app. Visit our website for updates on MRCPsych exam dates, useful tips for MRCPsych Paper A and Paper B, and more helpful blog posts. Your success is our goal.

Please note, this is a basic guide and should not replace professional financial advice. Always consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand your personal tax situation.