HM Revenue & Customs no longer accepts payments for self-assessment tax bills at the Post Office or by personal credit card.
Therefore, as the 31st January deadline for paying the tax you owe for the previous tax year approaches, we will look at the other payment options available, so you have time to get an alternative method in place.
It is important that you pay HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on time so you avoid having to pay any interest and sometimes even a penalty. Always remember to factor in enough time so that your chosen payment method is processed before the deadline.
Online, telephone banking, CHAPS and Bacs
You can pay your bill from your bank account using Faster Payments (online or telephone banking), or CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) or Bacs.
Payments by Faster Payments usually reach HMRC on the same or next day, including weekends and bank holidays.
CHAPS payments will usually reach HMRC the same working day if you pay within your bank’s processing times.
Bacs payments usually take three working days.
Which account to pay in to will be included in your tax bill but if you’ve not received one or still feel uncertain, you will need to use the account details for HMRC Cumbernauld:
Sort code Account number Account name
08 32 10 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld
08 32 10 12001020 HMRC Shipley
Don’t forget to use your 11-character payment reference when you pay. This is your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by the letter ‘K’ and you will find it on your HMRC online account or paying-in slip, if you receive paper statements.
Not including your UTR may result in your payment being delayed.
Debit or credit card online
HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it – not the date it reaches their account – including any weekends or bank holidays.
Bank or Building Society
It is still possible to pay HMRC via cash or cheque at your bank or building society, as long as you use the paying-in slip which HMRC sends you. Any cheques should be made payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your UTR.
If you have not received a paying-in slip from HMRC, you can generate a payslip online and print it. But you will need your UTR to hand.
HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it, and not the date it reaches its account (as long as you pay from Monday to Friday).
Direct Debit and post
Both these methods will take longer to reach HMRC – three to five working days – and if your deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, make sure your payment reaches HMRC on the last working day before.
As with the previous payment options you will need to include your UTR.
You can set up a direct debit through your HMRC online account to make single payments for 31st January. You’ll need to set up another debit before 31st July if you are required to make a payment on account.
If you would prefer to send a cheque by post you will need to include your paying-in slip and return in the envelope provided – if you don’t have a reply envelope, send your payment to HMRC, Direct, BX5 5BD.
We are here to help
If you'd like help with your tax affairs, please contact your local TaxAssist Accountant. Using an accountant should ensure that you are claiming all of the expenses and allowances you're entitled to and they could explore where your Payments on Account for 2018/19 could come down.
By Jo Nockels FCCA
Last updated November 2017