2017 Professional Privilege Tax Due June 1

April 10, 2017

Every physician with an active license from the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners (BME) or Board of Osteopathic Examination (BOE) is required to pay a professional privilege tax by June 1 of each year. Physicians may not receive a reminder from the licensing board, and only those who have previously signed up for e-mail reminders will receive them from the Department of Revenue.

Several bills have been filed in the 2017 General Assembly to phase out the privilege tax, and TMA is actively lobbying for the passage of one of these bills. Any bill that passes will probably not impact the tax due June 1 of this year. If one of these bills passes, TMA will notify members via our Political Pulse and Member News newsletters.

Exemptions from Payment of the Tax
There are three exemptions available for physicians:

  1. Filing an affidavit to retire your license with the appropriate licensing board

  2. Inactivation of the medical license (available only for physicians practicing solely outside of Tennessee)

  3. Active military service

Many physicians in the past have called TMA thinking that no tax was due because they had retired from practice. As long as the medical license is active, a physician is responsible for the tax. The license must be retired before the June 1 due date to avoid paying the tax. By filing an affidavit of retirement, a physician may no longer engage in the active practice of medicine, including writing a prescription or treating the occasional patient. 

Electronic Payment of Tax
The tax must be paid electronically unless this causes the individual a hardship and that hardship is approved by the Department of Revenue. Typical hardships approved may be taxpayers who do not own a computer, taxpayers who do not have access to the internet and taxpayers whose religious beliefs prohibit the use of computers and related technology. Call 800.342.1003 to request a hardship waiver from paying the tax electronically. A waiver does not excuse the requirement to timely pay the tax.

How to Pay the Tax
To electronically file the professional privilege tax return, you must have either your Social Security Number or your professional privilege tax account number. A licensee may begin paying the tax due on June 1, 2017 beginning Jan. 1, 2017. If you do not know your account number, please use the online look-up available on the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s website.  

Click here to access the website to pay an individual privilege tax or for a company to pay multiple individuals’ privilege tax.

Once the tax is paid, a confirmation page will come up and it should be printed for your records. This is the only chance you will have to print this confirmation. Call the Electronic Commerce Unit at 866.368.6374 if you encounter any problems paying the tax online.

The Department of Revenue has FAQs available should a licensee have any additional questions.

Penalty for Nonpayment
A licensee who does not pay the tax is usually assessed a monetary penalty by the Department of Revenue. Continued nonpayment of the tax could result in the revocation of an individual’s license.

E-mail Notification
If a licensee has provided his/her e-mail address to the Department of Revenue in the past, an e-mail reminder to pay the tax will go out sometime in April.

Any questions on this topic may be directed to the TMA Legal Department at legal@tnmed.org or 800.659.1862, extension 1645.