How to pay Self Assessment/Capital Gains Tax


This guide gives you the payment deadlines for Self Assessment tax (including payments on account and Capital Gains Tax) and tells you about your payment options. You may need to complete a Self Assessment tax return to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about your income or gains.

Self Assessment payment deadlines
31 January
You must pay the balance of any tax you owe by 31 January following the end of the tax year. This is also the date when you may have to pay the first of two ‘payments on account’ towards your next tax bill.

The January payment deadline is the same for both paper and online returns and there are very few exceptions. As an example, the deadline may be later if HMRC sends you the letter, telling you to complete a return, after 31 October. In this case you’ll usually need to send in the return and pay the tax due within three months of the date of the letter.

31 July
This is the date when you may have to pay the second ‘payment on account’ towards your next tax bill.

If you don’t pay any tax you owe for the previous tax year on time you may be charged interest. The longer you delay, the more you’ll have to pay. So it’s important to pay the tax as soon as you can.

Your Statement
You can check how much tax you owe by logging into HMRC’s Online Self Assessment service. You’ll be able to see a statement of what you have paid and what you owe or are owed. Or if you’ve already signed up for the Business Tax Dashboard you can also view your liabilities and payments there.

Paying through your tax code
When you complete your tax return, you can ask for the tax you owe to be collected through your tax code if:

*you have income that is taxed under PAYE
*the amount you owe is less than £3,000
*you pay enough tax to collect the amount owed in one year
*you send your paper return by 31 October or your online return by 30 December

HMRC will try to collect the tax due through your code, but it’s not always possible.

Use the right payment reference
When you make your payment to HMRC it is important that you use the right reference number. This makes sure your payment reaches your account and that way you won’t get reminders after you’ve paid.

To pay your Self Assessment you will need to use your ten-digit reference number, called a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), followed by a ‘K’. For example 1234567890K. You can find your UTR:

*in your online account if you’re registered for Self Assessment online
*on the payslip HMRC sent you

Make sure you enter your reference number with no spaces between the characters or it could lead to delays in updating your records.

If you are new to Self Assessment and don’t have a UTR give your National Insurance number instead.

Budget Payment Plans
You can only pay by Budget Payment Plan if you are up to date with your payments and you pay by online Direct Debit.

With a Budget Payment Plan you make regular payments during the year towards the amount you owe by 31 January/31 July. The plan is flexible and you can:

*decide how much you want to pay each week or month
*change your regular payment amount
*stop making payments for up to six months
*cancel your payments at any time

Direct Debit – How to set-up
If you are signed up for HMRC’s Self Assessment Online Service you can set up Direct Debits for HMRC to collect single payments on 31 January and on 31 July. If you are up to date with your Self Assessment payments you can also set up a monthly or weekly Budget Payment plan to pay towards tax you know you will owe.

Remember, if you’re late sending your return or payment, you may have to pay interest or penalties.

Online debit or credit card using BillPay
If you have a debit or credit card from a UK card issuer, you can pay your Self Assessment tax online using the BillPay service provided by Santander Corporate Banking.

If you pay by credit card you will have to pay a transaction fee of 1.4 per cent. HMRC does not accept American Express or Diners Club cards.

A BillPay payment takes three bank working days to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding Bank holidays.

Remember, if you’re late sending your return or payment, you may have to pay interest or penalties.

Multiple or composite payments by CHAPS
When you pay by CHAPS, HMRC recommends that you make a separate payment for each Self Assessment reference number.

If you think you would like to make a single payment to cover a number of Self Assessment references (called a ‘multiple’ or ‘composite’ payment) please contact the HMRC Accounts Office you normally deal with. They will then get back to you with further guidance.

Please do not use these links to ask for advice on anything other than CHAPS payments, as HMRC will not reply.

Paying at your bank by Bank Giro
If your bank or building society offers the Bank Giro service you can make a payment at your own bank branch by cheque or cash. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way please:

take your HMRC payslip to your own bank branch (other banks may refuse to accept it or may charge you for this service)
make your cheque payable to ‘HM Revenue & Customs only’ followed by your UTR
To allow for possible delays in bank processing (for which HMRC is not responsible) please allow at least three bank working days for your payment to reach them. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

When paying by Bank Giro you should only use official HMRC payslips. HMRC payslips contain the correct HMRC bank account information and ensures payment reaches your account on time.

At the Post Office
You can make a Self Assessment payment at the Post Office by cheque, cash or debit card without charge. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way please:

take your HMRC payslip with you (or you will be charged for using this service) make cheques payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’
Please allow at least three bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

By post
HMRC recommends that you pay your Self Assessment tax electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide. If you use the right reference number electronic payments are more efficient and secure than sending cheques by post.

If you do need to pay by post please:

make your cheque payable to ‘HM Revenue & Customs only’ followed by your UTR send your cheque and payslip to HMRC using the pre-addressed envelope, if you were sent one, or use the address below don’t fold the payslip or cheque and don’t fasten them together
Please allow at least three working days for your payment to reach HMRC. This allows for any delays in the post outside HMRC’s control.

If you do not have a pre-addressed HMRC envelope please send your payment to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Bradford
BD98 1YY

Postdated cheques
HMRC only accept a postdated cheque:

before your tax is due – if you send a cheque for the full amount and it arrives by the due date after your tax is due – if you have an agreement with HMRC to pay with post dated cheques HMRC have automated the way they deal with payments sent by post. So you need to send a covering letter with your postdated cheque. Otherwise HMRC won’t know that the cheque is postdated and will present it straight away.

Checking HMRC have received your payment
If you use the Self Assessment online service you can check that your payment has reached your account. All payments will be shown on your account within a few days of HMRC receiving them if you’ve given the right reference number.

If you send your payment by post you will need to send a letter with your payment if you want a receipt. Please don’t write on your payslip as they are processed automatically.

What to do if you don’t have a payslip
HMRC recommends you pay online, or by online or telephone banking. But if you are paying by post and you don’t have the computer printed payslip that HMRC sent; you can complete and print off a Self Assessment payment slip instead. Send this with your cheque to HMRC.

For more information visit HMRC website

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