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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Time To Pay: agreeing or rejecting Time To Pay: additional advice

Information for the customer

Where Time To Pay (TTP) is agreed you should explain the conditions of the arrangements to the customer and advise of the enforcement action we will take if we have to cancel the arrangement.

You should also include interest (calculated to the end of the arrangement) and any appropriate surcharges and late payment penalties in the arrangement.

If the request needs to be rejected you should explain the reasons for rejection clearly to the customer and what enforcement action we will take if they do not pay in full

In all cases, whether TTP is agreed or rejected, the customer should be advised of the interest and surcharge implications.

Advice for the customer

Self Assessment Payments on Account

Where TTP is being requested for a Self Assessment debt that includes a Payments On Account (POA) and the customer advises that they are unable to pay as they are experiencing a downturn in trading activity you should discuss their situation with them to see if they may be able to submit a valid claim to reduce. See SAM1000.

Customers must be made aware that penalties may be charged if they make an invalid claim and there will be interest and possible surcharge implications if they reduce their POAs by too much.

Online filing

Customers should be encouraged to file future tax returns online where this is possible. For some HoDs this may mean that the customer has longer to pay and will often mean that their liability is calculated instantly. Other advantages can include the ability to submit certain updates electronically and being able to view their payment and return status.

Paying electronically

Customers should be encouraged to pay future liabilities by making electronic payments where possible. Depending upon the head of duty they may get an extension to the payment date if they do this, and they won’t have to worry about cheques being lost in the post. Across some taxes we can collect payment by direct debit and customers can also set up Budget Payment Plans in advance to spread the cost of their tax bill.

VAT Schemes

There are certain VAT schemes available that may help small and medium businesses manage their affairs better. These include:

  • Annual Accounting Scheme
  • Cash Accounting Scheme
  • Flat Rate Scheme

Where to find further information

These are just some of the ways that we can help people meet their tax obligations. Rules and conditions of use vary for different taxes. For further information you should direct the customers to the HMRC website.

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Outside help

There are external agencies that offer customers advice and help with managing their finances and debts.



Businesses in England who are struggling to pay their tax liabilities can contact Business Support helpline on 0300 456 3565 to get independent advice about managing their business through financial difficulty. They can also visit their website at

Another organisation is Business Debt Line; customers can visit their website at


Businesses in Scotland who are struggling to pay their tax liabilities can contact Business Gateway (Scotland) on 0300 013 4753 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or visit their website at .


Businesses in Wales can contact the Business Wales Helpline on 0300 060 3000 from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, or visit their website at

Northern Ireland

Businesses in Northern Ireland can contact the Invest Northern Ireland helpline on 0800 181 4422 from 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, or visit their website at 


There are a number of organisations available for individuals that will help customers with financial problems free of charge. These are: