It’s the eleventh hour and the SA tax returns are almost done, but have your clients’ managed to pay their tax on time? This year HMRC has thrown hurdles in their way as we explain below. We also have news of changes coming into effect from April 2015 for VAT invoices and NICs. In both cases clients need to be warned in advance to budget for different payments and receipts.

Paying HMRC

In a break from previous practice, this year HMRC has not sent out SA reminder letters to individuals that include a paying-in slip. This has left many clients waiting for the payslip as a prompt to pay their tax and to complete their tax returns.    

The pixies behind the GOV.UK website think that everyone has internet access and uses online or telephone banking, so those factors are prerequisites for almost all the methods of payment suggested on the ìhow to pay your self-assessment tax billî page.  But there are a large number of people who donít bank online either because they donít have a computer or they simply donít trust online banking.  

For those off-line taxpayers paying a tax bill generally means writing a cheque and sending it through the post with a payment slip, or taking the cheque to a bank, building society or post office with a payment slip. Note the taxpayer needs the payment slip as printed by HMRC and attached to a SA statement -which many people have not received this year.  

You can help your clients by printing a personalised payslip from the GOV.UKwebsite, but that payslip can only be used to accompany a cheques sent through the post to HMRC collector of taxes in Bradford. It is now technically too late for a cheque to arrive by 31 January, as HMRC says it takes three working days for a cheque to reach them and be processed. 

Where the taxpayer has a debit card, they can use that card at a Post Office to pay the tax due, but a payment slip is still needed. However, the payment must be made by close of business on Friday 30 January 2015 to count as being received by HMRC by 31 January 2015. Also the maximum payment that can be made through the Post Office in one transaction is £10,000. 

A debit or credit card can be used to pay HMRC directly, though the internet or by telephone, but there is a 1.4% charge for using a credit card. To pay by debit card the taxpayer needs to have the funds required in the bank account attached to that card. The bank may also set a daily limit on the amount that can be paid using a debit card, on via online or telephone banking. 

Taxpayers can pay HMRC over the phone by calling 0300 200 3402. This number is not advertised anywhere on the GOV.UK website. 

This is an
extract from our tax tips newsletter dated 29 January 2015. The newsletter
itself contained links to related source material for this story and the
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