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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: taking a payment on account

When you have established that the person has paid insufficient tax you should consider asking for a payment on account of the amount of tax that will finally be due. This will reduce the amount of interest the person will pay at the end of the check. Payments on account can be made by

  • using any of the methods listed on the HMRC website after the person has received from you the SAFE customer reference number (they will not be able to make payment without this)
  • sending a cheque with a cover note clearly marked for your attention.

Note: It is HMRC policy not to accept payments in cash. If a person offers to make a payment on account in cash, you must advise them to take their payment to a local post office, a branch of their own bank or building society or to pay by an alternative method.

When you seek a payment on account of any outstanding tax you might be informed the person has already paid tax either on account or on the sums in question. You must insist on seeing certificates verifying this, for example

  • certificates of tax paid on bank or building society interest
  • P60 showing PAYE tax paid
  • certificates of withholding tax
  • Certificate of Tax Deposit.

If a person refuses to make payments on account of agreed liabilities, you should consider making an assessment to recover tax before your check has been completed.