Can’t pay your tax bill? What can you do?

As though you need any further reminding, but the tax return deadline is shortly upon us and you only have a few days left to file your personal tax return with HMRC.  However, don’t forget the deadline for paying any tax due on that return and any first payment on account for next year is due on the same date also.

But what happens if you find yourself in a position that you cannot pay this tax liability by the deadline date?

Hopefully some of these handy tips may help ease the situation.

Submit early

This sounds like an obvious one, but submitting your tax return in good time before the deadline date not only means you can breathe easy, but importantly, allows you more time to pay the tax due.  You can even pay in smaller chunks to ease the cash flow during the year.

Regular Instalments

Even though the deadline for full payment of your tax is 31st January each year, this doesn’t mean you must pay the tax all in one go.  You can spread the total tax bill over the year, up to the payment deadline and this will help chip away at the tax debt.

30-day grace period

Even though the payment deadline date is 31st January, HMRC won’t apply a non-payment penalty until 30 days after the deadline.  However, HMRC do charge interest on the outstanding tax liability from the very first date it becomes overdue.

Offer a payment plan

If you have already submitted your self-assessment tax return to HMRC, you may be able to agree a repayment plan for any outstanding balance remaining unpaid.  However, you’ll need to ensure you contact them immediately once you realise you are unable to pay but also offer them a reasonable repayment plan that you can manage and stick to.

It would still be at HMRC’s discretion to accept any payment plan request but if you are open and honest, they usually are willing to help.

Let Clever Accounts help

We’re experts at completing tax returns, liaising with HMRC and giving advice and guidance around payment queries.  Why not let us take the pain out of this time of the year.

For further help, contact us for more information.

Posted by Chris Mollan