Do not forget to pay your tax

The 31st July is rapidly approaching. If you are registered for self-assessment, make sure you pay the second instalment for 2015-16, that falls due on this date, unless no payment is due.

If you are self-employed, and if you are confident that your profits have fallen in the accounts year to 31 March 2016, compared to 2014-15, then you may be able to make an election to reduce the payment on account due in two weeks’ time. Any downward adjustment in tax payable must be based on realistic calculations as HMRC will take a dim view if your tax return for 2015-16, when filed, shows that your downward adjustment in your July payment was excessive.

We can help.

If the amount of tax due cannot be disputed, but you are unable to make the payment due to cash flow difficulties, contact HMRC now to discuss your options. Very often, HMRC will agree to a direct debit instalment plan or otherwise give you more time to pay. It is important that you contact the tax office before the end of the month; in this way you can reduce the possibility of penalties for late payment. Unfortunately, HMRC will still charge you interest on unpaid tax – the current rate charged is 3%.

There are a number of ways you can pay the tax.

HMRC should have sent you a Statement showing what you owe on the 31 July. Simply fill in the payment slip at the bottom of the form and take it to your bank with a cheque before the end of the month. Don’t forget to allow enough time for the cheque to clear before the 31st.

Alternatively, you could pay by online or telephone banking. The bill will tell you which account to pay into. It will generally be one of two offices:

  1. HMRC Cumbernauld: sort code 08 32 10, account number 12001039, or
  2. HMRC Shipley: sort code 08 32 10, account number 12001020.

HMRC will also accept payments by debit or credit card. You will need to use HMRC’s online payment portal at