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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Working the enquiry: general payments on account: Procedures

There are several ways that taxpayers can make payments on account. However

  • payments on account cannot be made by direct debit because they are not enforceable debts
  • you should never seek or accept payment of cash (that is notes or coins) or payments in kind (tangible property) unless Enforcement and Insolvency Service or HMRC Solicitors Office has advised you to do so.

When you request a payment on account, tell the taxpayer that they can either

  • make the payment using any of the methods listed on the HMRC website, other than by direct debit, after they have received a letter from you confirming the SAFE Customer reference number (they will not be able to make the payment without a reference number from you), or
  • send a cheque to your office with a cover note clearly marked for your attention.

Whichever method is used you must point out that receipt of payments on account do not commit HMRC to any particular course of action.

EM1939 explains how to process a payment on account.