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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Time To Pay: agreeing or rejecting Time To Pay: Self Assessment surcharges

In SA cases both initial and further surcharge can be avoided if the customer

  • submits proposals that lead to an acceptable Time To Pay (TTP) on or before the surcharge trigger dates
  • makes payment(s) as agreed
  • and sticks to the terms of the arrangement.

Trigger dates

From 6th April 2011 the surcharge trigger dates are 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the balancing payment due date.

The 5% surcharge is calculated on the amount that remains unpaid for the relevant year at the surcharge trigger date. Note: Unpaid payments on account are not liable to surcharge until after the balancing payment due date. Surcharge trigger dates are detailed in SAM62080.

To avoid a surcharge TTP doesn’t always have to be agreed on or before the trigger date but in all cases the customer must have made their proposals on or before the surcharge trigger date. Sometimes the customer will need to provide extra information before we can agree to a TTP but as long as the initial request was made on or before the surcharge trigger date and they respond promptly to our enquiries and we eventually agree TTP they can avoid a surcharge.

In SA cases it is extremely important that arrangements are set up correctly in line with DMBM803720.

Where arrangements are not set up correctly or signals are not set SA will automatically issue surcharge notices to the customer.

Surcharge is appropriate but not raised

Sometimes a customer should have been issued with a surcharge but SA has not automatically created the surcharge. This may happen where

  • TTP was agreed after the surcharge trigger date but before the computer has selected cases to surcharge
  • an old TTP start date is on record (you should not change this), but proposals for the new arrangement were received after the surcharge trigger date

If you need to manually apply a surcharge you can do this through SA function ‘maintain surcharge’ and ‘apply surcharge’.