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Changes to how you can pay your annual fee in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our offices are closed so please don’t send any post to us. This includes, cheques, bank drafts and postal orders, paper Direct Debit instructions and income discount applications.

Please use your GMC Online account if you need to make a payment or set up a Direct Debit. If you can’t make the payment online, then contact us.

Income Discount

The income discount scheme provides a 50% discount on your annual retention fee.


You are eligible to apply if:

  • you are registered with or without a licence to practise
  • you pay an annual retention fee or a full registration fee that is not already discounted (such as fixed term discount)
  • your gross taxable income during your registration year is less than £32,000.

Income thresholds

The income threshold is £32,000. We define income as your gross annual worldwide taxable income from all sources, including:

  • pensions
  • investment income
  • maternity pay
  • sick pay
  • any kind of taxable benefit.

You should calculate your income between your annual retention fee dates, not your income earned in the tax year .

For example:
If your ARF due date is 1 August and you're applying for the year 2020-2021, you should calculate your total income over the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. 

When and how to apply

You can apply for the income discount online from your GMC Online account.

You can apply for the discount up to three months in advance of your registration year at any time during your current registration year, and up to three months after your registration year has ended.

For example:

If your ARF due date is 1 August and you are applying for the year 2020-2021, you can apply online from 1 May 2020 until 1 November 2021.

The discount is not automatically applied to subsequent years; you must submit a separate application for each year that you are eligible.

If you are not able to apply online, please complete the income discount application form and email it to us.

How the discount will work

If you apply for the income discount online before the start of your registration year and you are eligible for a discount, you will receive an immediate confirmation. When you receive your annual retention fee notice it will reflect the discount and confirm the amount payable.

If you apply after receiving a fee notice, or part way through the year and have not yet paid your fee in full, we will contact you to confirm your updated account balance. You can then view and pay your adjusted fee online.

If you pay by Direct Debit, we will adjust your payment plan and give you advance notice of the changes. 

If you have already paid your fee in full, we will process a refund within ten working days of granting the discount.

Confirming your eligibility

If you apply for income discount at the beginning of your annual retention fee year based on your estimated income, you will need to confirm you eligibility at the end of the same period. This is to confirm that you actually earned less than the £32,000 threshold. We will contact you to do this towards the end of your registration year. You can confirm your eligibility by logging into GMC Online.


I’m on maternity, parental or adoption leave – can I apply for a reduced fee?

If your income falls below £32,000 you can apply for the income discount.

We don’t currently have a discount specifically for doctors on maternity, parental or adoption leave. However, we’re reviewing our policy this year. We’ve recently been made aware that some doctors may miss out on the income discount if their maternity, parental or adoption leave spans two registration years and as a result, their income wouldn’t fall below the threshold in either year. If you’re in this situation at the moment, please contact us.

We recognise the need to allow all women and men on maternity, parental and adoption leave to access a discount if their income falls below the threshold, irrespective of the time of year their baby is born.

What should I do if I my income has gone over the threshold?

If you applied for income discount and later realise that you are going to earn more than the £32,000 threshold, you must let us know so that we can withdraw the discount. You can do this by logging into GMC Online.

If your income changes and takes you over the threshold for future years that you have not submitted applications for, you do not have to do anything. This discount is not automatically applied each year, so your fee will be returned to the full fee.

Do I need to submit evidence of my income?

We may ask you to provide evidence of your gross annual income to support your application at any time.

The evidence we ask for may include, but is not limited to: 

  • Proof of earnings – copies of three payslips within the year the discount was applied, a copy of your  P60, or an end of year tax statement (P21). 
  • Details of any self-employed income, such as an end of year tax statement (SA302). 
  • Statement of pension, social security benefits or tax credits paid to you. 
  • Statement of any interest or dividends from savings and investments. 
  • Copies of three bank statements within the year the discount was applied. 

Failure to supply the information when requested may result in the GMC withdrawing your discount.