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Accounting for doctors who work in private practices could become a little more complicated in the future, following government proposals to cap the surcharge allowed to be made on credit and debit card transactions.

Until now, retailers and service providers of all kinds have been allowed to add a fee on to any bill settled by credit or debit card – allowing them to make a profit, even after deducting any charge made by the card processing company.

Now, however, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is making it illegal to profit from taking card payments, to bring the UK in line with the European Union Consumer Rights Directive.

This could complicate accounting for doctors who work privately, and therefore take large numbers of card payments, and for whom the small amount of profit made on each has represented a significant income on aggregate.

However, healthcare professionals may yet escape the new rules, as the EU directive does not apply to healthcare by regulated professionals, or to social services professionals.

Our Manchester accountants will be watching with interest to see whether healthcare professionals are affected by the proposals, and will advise our clients appropriately if they are affected by new legislation in the months to come.