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All payments due to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) should be made in a timely manner in order to avoid any charges or penalties.

Make sure that you know all the due dates relevant to you. If a payment falls on a bank holiday or a weekend, you should make sure it is received by HMRC on the last working day before the holiday or weekend.

Check all details are correct beforehand, as incorrect information may delay the payment, again resulting in late fees. The correct reference number is important, as this will make sure that your money reaches the right
account without any delays. Sending cash electronically is the most secure method. You will also know exactly when HMRC will receive your payment, in addition to being given an electronic receipt.

There are many different types of taxes and all can be settled through various routes, a couple of which are included here:

Self assessment

The first payment on account for self assessment is 31st January, which is likewise the date when you must pay any amount outstanding from the previous year, also known as the balancing payment. The second payment on account is due 31st July. It is possible to apply for a budget plan, so that you can spread installments over a 12-month period.


The deadline for settling VAT bills will depend on whether you use payments on account or the Annual Accounting Scheme. The relevant deadline will be displayed on your VAT return. If you use the latter, you will usually make four payments every year, although you will only submit one VAT return annually.
Payments on account are made on the second and third months of every VAT quarter. Any balancing payment must be made when the return is submitted.

What if you are unable to make a payment?

Although HMRC expects all payments to be made in full and on time, the organisation understands that there may occasionally be problems. If you know that you are having difficulty making a payment, contact HMRC as soon as possible, as you may be permitted time to pay. If a payment isn’t made by the due date, you will be charged late payment penalties and, possibly, interest. If you are unable to make payments to HMRC, you still need to submit any tax returns on time, or further penalties may be charged.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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