Guidance

Making your Self Assessment payments including Class 2 National Insurance contributions

Check how to pay your Self Assessment payments including your Class 2 National Insurance contributions.

As one of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) supporting measures, Self Assessment taxpayers were given the option of deferring payment of their July 2020 Payment on Account until 31 January 2021.

If you deferred this payment, you may have had these 3 payments to make on 31 January 2021:

  • your deferred July 2020 payment on account (if it remains unpaid)
  • any 2019 to 2020 balancing charge
  • your first 2020 to 2021 payment on account

If you had difficulty in making all 3 payments at once you may have chosen to set up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with HMRC.

Payment of Class 2 National Insurance contributions through a Time to Pay arrangement

If you are self-employed and Pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions, you will usually pay them as part of your annual balancing payment.

If you are paying the 3 payments mentioned above through a Time to Pay arrangement, your deferred July payment on account will be cleared first, having the oldest due date. This is to minimise the interest you will be charged.

This could result in your 2019 to 2020 Class 2 National Insurance contributions being paid after their due date of 31 January 2021. Where Class 2 National Insurance contributions are paid after that date it can have a detrimental effect on certain contributory benefits claimed.

If this affects you, contact HMRC as soon as possible for help. We may be able to allocate monies you have already paid for your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment liabilities against the Class 2 National Insurance contributions that you owe. You may incur a small amount of interest if we do this, but your contributory benefit claim should be protected.

Pay in instalments

You can pay your tax by instalments if you were unable to pay in full by 31 January 2021. If you have not filed your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment return, you will need to file it as soon as possible. We will then know what payments you owe and you’ll be able to set up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with us.

If you owe up to £30,000 you can do this online up to 60 days after 31 January without having to contact us directly.

When you have filed your return you’ll need to wait at least 72 hours before you can set up your Time to Pay arrangement online.

Late payment penalties are charged when tax remains unpaid for 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the payment due dates. You can avoid the penalties if you enter into a Time to Pay arrangement before they become due and you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.

For Self Assessment payments that were due on 31 January 2021, you will avoid the first late payment penalty if you set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 2 March 2021. The 6 month and 12 month penalties can be avoided if you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.

Interest is payable on Time to Pay instalments so you should check the interest rates for late and early payments.

Find out about deadline dates for Self Assessment returns submission.

Pay by Direct Debit

If you normally pay by Direct Debit but chose to defer your July 2020 payment on account, you should have cancelled your Direct Debit through your bank so that we did not automatically collect any payment due.

You can re-instate that Direct Debit if you want to resume making payments on account this way in future.

Pay through your tax code

You can pay your Self Assessment bill through your PAYE tax code as long as all of the following apply:

  • you owe less than £3,000 on your tax bill
  • you already pay tax through PAYE, for example you’re an employee or you get a company pension
  • you submitted your paper tax return by 31 October, or your online tax return by 30 December

The amount owing will then be collected over a 12 month period instead of you having to pay it all at once.

How to get help

If you cannot pay your Self Assessment liabilities in full

You should contact HMRC as soon as you can if you are unable to pay your Self Assessment tax. We are determined to help all customers as much as possible. That help may mean setting up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with you.

If you already have a Time to Pay arrangement in place and you are finding it difficult paying the agreed instalments contact HMRC.

Reducing your 2020 to 2021 payments on account.

Your Payments on Account are based on your previous year’s tax bill. If your financial situation has been impacted by coronavirus, you may have a reduced tax liability arising for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. You may want to apply to HMRC to reduce your 2020 to 2021 payments on account.

Find out more about payments on account.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact the HMRC coronavirus helpline for help and advice.

Published 15 May 2020
Last updated 2 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. The pay in instalments section has been updated to show you can set up a Time to Pay arrangement online for amounts up to £30,000 up to 60 days after 31 January 2021 without having to contact us.

  2. Information about payment of Class 2 National insurance contributions through a Time to Pay arrangement has been added and the Pay in instalments section has been updated.

  3. Added translation

  4. We have updated the guidance on what you need to do after 31 July 2020 if you chose to defer your second payment on account for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.

  5. More information about the July 2020 payment on account deferment has been added.

  6. First published.