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  5. The annual retention fee

The annual retention fee

How much do I have to pay?

Annual fees are set out on our fees page.

Read more about the fixed term discount on our fees changes in 2018 page.

Find out more about applying for an income discount on our income discount page.

When will I get a bill for my annual fee?

We'll send your bill by email a month before your annual fee is due. It will show the type of fee and amount due. You can also view and print your bill by logging in to your GMC Online account.

If you've opted out of e-billing, we will send you a paper bill a month before your annual retention fee is due. It will show the type of fee and the amount due.

To change how we send your bill, simply log in to GMC Online. Select My Account and then Change my preference.

How can I pay my annual fee?

To make sure your fees are paid on time, we recommend you pay your annual retention fee by Direct Debit.

If you don't pay by Direct Debit, you should make sure your payment reaches us by your annual retention fee due date, allowing time for postage and processing.

You can also pay by card, bank transfer, cheque, bank drafts or postal orders.    

Direct Debit

Direct Debit is the only payment option that allows you to spread the cost of your annual retention fee over the year. You can pay in one amount, quarterly instalments or ten monthly instalments. We will collect your fee, or the first instalment, no more than ten days before your annual retention fee is due.

The GMC will use the details provided to collect payments which are owed to us. Where necessary, and as a last resort, we can use them to ask a court to grant a third party debt order.

Setting up a Direct Debit

If you want to pay your annual fee by Direct Debit, you should set up a Direct Debit instruction at least two months before your annual fee is due. This ensures we have time to set up your instruction and amend your account so that your bill reflects the Direct Debit Instruction.

It couldn’t be easier to set up a Direct Debit, you’ll simply need:

  • a UK bank account
  • sole authority to set up Direct Debits on this account.

You can log in to GMC Online to set up a Direct Debit. Or you can contact us and we’ll set up a Direct Debit for you. 

If you'd like to set up the Direct Debit from a bank account that needs more than one person to authorise transactions or you simply prefer to complete a paper Direct Debit Instruction, please download and complete the Direct Debit Instruction and return it to us. 

If you've already received your bill it is too late to collect that fee by Direct Debit. But you can set up a Direct Debit to collect future fees.

Changing your bank details

If you'd like to change your bank details, you can do this by logging in to your GMC Online account. Simply provide the new bank account details and we will collect your future payments by Direct Debit from your new account.

Changing your payment frequency

If you want to change your Direct Debit frequency to annual, quarterly or ten monthly instalments, please contact us. You do not have to cancel your current instruction with your bank.

Please note, any changes requested to your Direct Debit instruction within 14 days of your payment being due may not take effect until the next payment due date.

Debit or credit card

You can pay your annual retention fee by debit or credit card. We accept Visa, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, MasterCard and Maestro.

You can pay your fee when you log into GMC Online. Or you can pay your fee by card at our London or Manchester reception.

Internet banking and bank transfers

You can pay your fee directly into our bank account. You can find our bank details by logging into your GMC Online account or on the back of your paper bill. Please quote your GMC reference number and name when making a payment by bank transfer, and allow ten working days for your payment to reach us. Alternatively you can contact us and we'll give you our bank details.

Cheques, bank drafts and postal orders

You should make cheques, bank drafts and postal orders payable to the General Medical Council. Please write your full name and GMC reference number clearly on the back of your payment. We only accept bank drafts drawn on a UK bank and in pounds sterling. We don't accept post-dated cheques.

Please send your payment to us at 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, M3 3AW. You can also pay your fee by card at our London or Manchester reception.

What happens after I pay my fee?

Your GMC Online account will be updated to reflect any payments made. You can print receipts for payments made in the last six years by logging into your GMC Online account.

Tax relief and receipts

We are on the list of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) approved organisations. This means you may be entitled to tax relief on your annual retention fee. You can find more information on the HMRC website.

What happens if I don’t pay?

Erasure for non-payment

If we don't get your payment we may erase your name from the medical register and remove your licence to practise if you hold one. If your name is not on the medical register, you are not permitted to do any form of medical practice within the United Kingdom for which registration and a licence to practise with us is required.

If you rejoin the medical register after being erased for non-payment, you will have to pay a restoration fee in addition to your annual retention fee.