What should I do if I cannot pay my tax bill?

I filed my tax return ontime, but I could not afford to pay my tax bill.  What should I do? 

1st February 2019

Your balancing payment for 2017/18 and if applicable, an instalment for next year 2018/19 were due by 31st January 2019, together with your tax return.

If you cannot pay your tax bill, you should call HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Business Payment Support Service (BPSS). HMRC will ask you questions about the business and your cashflow, to ascertain why you can’t pay your tax. If they think you genuinely cannot pay your tax they may grant you an extension to settle your taxes in or agree a payment plan.

However, HMRC will not reduce the amount outstanding and they will still charge you interest. You should do this as quickly as possible, as they tend not to look so favourable on taxpayers who have already missed the deadline. If they do grant you an extension, you will be expected to set up a Direct Debit. You must keep these payments up to date and pay your other tax. If you don’t, HMRC will normally cancel the arrangement and may take legal action against you.

If you don’t feel confident in negotiating with HMRC, feel free to contact your local TaxAssist Accountant who would be happy to liaise with HMRC on your behalf.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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