If you cannot pay your tax bill on time

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What to do

You must arrange to pay your tax bill with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you either:

  • miss a payment
  • know you cannot pay on time

If you pay a tax bill late you must pay interest on the amount you owe until it’s paid off. You can avoid penalties by arranging a payment plan with HMRC before the tax is due.

If you owe Self Assessment tax and your bill is less than £30,000 you may be able to pay in monthly instalments.

For any other bills or problems paying, you must contact HMRC to discuss your options. How you contact HMRC depends on what you need to pay.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

If you cannot pay because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

You may be able to pay your Self Assessment tax in monthly instalments. This includes any delayed (deferred) ‘payments on account’ that were due in July 2020, if you did not pay them at the time.

Contact the HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline if you cannot pay any other tax bills because of coronavirus.

If you’re self-employed

If your business has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

If you cannot pay your Self Assessment tax bill

You can set up a payment plan online to spread the cost of your latest Self Assessment bill if:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • your tax returns are up to date
  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You do not need to contact HMRC if you set up a payment plan.

Call the Self Assessment helpline if you’re not eligible for a payment plan or cannot use the online service.

Self Assessment Payment Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3822
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)
Find out about call charges

If you cannot pay other taxes

You might be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC if you’re unable to pay any other taxes in full. This lets you spread the cost of your tax bill by paying what you owe in instalments.

How you do this depends on whether you’ve received a payment demand.

If you’ve received a payment demand, like a tax bill or a letter threatening you with legal action, call the HMRC office that sent you the letter.

If you’ve not received a bill or letter, call the Payment Support Service (PSS).

Payment Support Service
Telephone: 0300 200 3835
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)
Find out about call charges

Nominated partners in business partnerships can negotiate a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC on behalf of the partnership or individual partners.