If you can't pay your tax bill on time

2. Before you call HMRC

You’ll need to know:

  • your reference number (for example, your 10-digit unique taxpayer reference or VAT reference number)
  • the amount of the tax bill you’re finding it difficult to pay and the reasons why
  • what you’ve done to try to get the money to pay the bill
  • how much you can pay immediately and how long you may need to pay the rest
  • your bank account details

What happens when you call

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will ask you about:

  • your income and expenditure
  • your assets, like savings and investments
  • what you’re doing to get your tax payments back in order

HMRC will decide whether you should be able to pay immediately. If you can’t, they’ll decide whether you’ll be able to get your payments back on track with more time.

You’ll be asked more in-depth questions if you’ve been given more time to pay before. In more complex cases HMRC may ask for evidence before they make a decision.