Is it getting harder to pay your tax bill?

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In his latest blog post, Alan Boby of UK200Group member firm Ellacotts LLP, discusses the forthcoming changes to tax bill payment methods.

Alan Boby
The current tax rules dictate that it is important to pay tax on time in order to minimise the risk of interest charges or penalties. However, the advance of technology and online banking has led HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to remove some more traditional methods as ways to pay tax liabilities.

The option of paying tax through the Post Office service (sometimes still known as the “GIRO payslip” method) will be withdrawn from 15th December 2017. In addition, from 13th January 2018, HMRC will no longer accept payment by personal credit card. Debit cards and corporate credit cards will continue to be accepted.

There are still other ways to pay tax, which include:

1. Direct Debit
2. Online or telephone banking (including Faster Payments, Bacs and CHAPS)
3. Debit/Corporate Credit card online or by telephone
4. By cheque through the post.

The HMRC guidance for the last option states “Make your cheque payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your tax reference.” The reference will be the 10-digit unique tax reference (UTR) for self assessment and the13-character Accounts Office reference number for PAYE and national insurance contributions. The first three payment options are seen as are more secure and should save the time and expense of going to a post office, bank or post box.

GOV.UK has more information about ways to pay HMRC at:

and there is more guidance at:

Finally, there are some who get into financial difficulties and do not have the funds to pay their tax bills on time. It is possible to negotiate “Time to pay” with HMRC and further details about this are shown at:

As with all such tax situations, advice should also be sought before proceeding. For further details call Alan Boby on 01295 250401 or email

Tags: UK200

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