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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Meaning of trade: mutual trading and members clubs: mutual associations: specific activities: NHS doctors’ co-operatives: National Association of GP co-operatives

The National Association of GP co-operatives is a national representative body for GP co-operatives. The Association has produced a model constitution for its members. In its initial form the constitution precluded a co-operative that adopted it from being accepted as carrying on a mutual trade. This was because the constitution required any surplus on winding up or dissolution to go to a successor body or to charity. Such a requirement is contrary to BIM24110, which requires that any surplus go back to the members and to no one else.

In the case of a recently formed co-operative that:

  • has adopted a constitution that precludes its trade from being a mutual trade, but
  • the clear intention from the outset was that it carry on a mutual trade, and
  • there have been no distributions,
  • and the doctors who are members of the co-operative have not opted out of providing out-of-hours patient care, see BIM24655,

you may treat the co-operative as a mutual trader from its inception if the constitution is promptly amended to conform to the requirements in BIM24100 onwards.