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Announcement of tax relief on the MRCS exam

24 Oct 2014

The Royal College of Surgeons is delighted to announce that following discussions it has held with HMRC, trainee surgeons who take the MRCS exam will now be able to claim tax relief on it.

Trainees who pay for the exam themselves and are employed on a training contract as either Core or Specialty Trainees can claim their tax relief. They will need to complete a form (P87) or do so through their self-assessment tax return if they are already in self-assessment or the expenses they've paid amount to more than £2,500. More information on how to claim can be found on the website:

In order to allow HMRC to handle any claims as efficiently as possible, HMRC have requested that trainees are informed that they should include with their claim a receipt or other proof of payment for the MRCS exam fees. Claims made without this may be delayed as HMRC may have to contact the trainee to request this evidence.

Miss Fiona Myint, RCS Council member with responsibility for examinations, welcomed the move. She said:

'The College works very hard to ensure that trainees are supported throughout their career. It is very good news that tax relief can now be claimed on the examination costs, as the MRCS qualification is a requirement for doctors who wish to enter into higher specialist surgical training. This is a very positive development for trainees and for surgery as a whole.

I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work done by the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASIT)  in reaching this agreement.’

There are three different ways of claiming tax relief on your MRCS fees.

  1. If you complete a self-assessment tax return, you can claim tax relief from your MRCS fees on the employment page of the return.
  2. If you do not file a tax return, you can claim tax relief using form P87: Tax relief for expenses of employment, available to download from the HMRC website
  3. You can complete the template letter found here.

You can claim a tax refund/ relief for the current tax year or any of the previous 4 tax years.  A trainee can therefore go back 4 tax years to reclaim the tax deductibility from the MRCS exam fees paid.  Claims for the 2010-11 tax year need to be made before  5 April 2015.
See the HMRC website for further details, including allowable expenses, eligibility and claiming back tax for past years.
Please note that the tax relief is only currently applicable for MRCS fees.


The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808.

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