3. Repay your tax credits

The Tax Credit Office will write to tell you what you owe and how to repay.

If you still get tax credits

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will automatically reduce your future tax credit payments to take back the money you owe.

The amount they’ll reduce your tax credits by depends on how much you currently get.

If you get the maximum award, HMRC can reduce your tax credits by 10%. For other awards, they can reduce by 25%.

If you don’t get tax credits any more

HMRC will send you a ‘notice to pay’ which you should pay within 30 days.

It’s your responsibility to make sure payments reach HMRC on time. Check your bank’s transaction limits and processing times.

Call the helpline if you can’t repay immediately - you may get more time or be able to spread out payments over a longer period. You’ll need details of your living expenses, income, investments and savings.

There are several ways to repay.

Direct Debit

You can call the helpline to set up a Direct Debit.

You can also set up a Direct Debit via your HMRC online account if you already have one (eg you do your Self Assessment tax returns online). Choose the Direct Debit option on the left hand side.

You’ll need your tax credit reference number - you’ll find it on your notice to pay.

It takes up to 5 working days to set up. Payments appear on your statements as ‘HMRC NDDS’.

Online and telephone banking (Faster Payments)

Pay to HMRC’s account and use your tax credit reference number (found on your notice to pay) as the payment reference.

Sort code Account number Account name
08 32 10 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld

Payments made by Faster Payments will usually reach HMRC on the same or next day, including weekends and bank holidays.

If you’re paying from an overseas account, you can pay HMRC in sterling or another currency.

Account number (IBAN) Bank identifier code (BIC) Account name
GB74CITI08321012001039 CITIGB2L HMRC Cumbernauld

HMRC’s bank address is:

Citibank N A
Citigroup Centre
Canary Wharf 33
Canada Square
London E14 5LB

At your bank or building society

Pay at your branch by cash or cheque along with the HMRC payslip included with your notice to pay.

Make cheques payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your tax credit reference number (found on your notice to pay).

HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it and not the date it reaches HMRC’s account.

Post Office

You can pay by debit card, cash or cheque made payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’, along with the payslip sent to you by HMRC.

HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it and not the date it reaches HMRC’s account.

By cheque through the post

You can pay by cheque made payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your tax credit reference (found on your notice to pay). Also include the payslip HMRC sent to you.

Allow 3 working days for payments to reach HMRC.

HM Revenue & Customs
Bradford
BD98 1YY

Don’t fold your payslip or cheque or fasten them together. If you want a receipt, include a note asking for one.

If you don’t have a payslip

Include a note with:

  • your name, address and contact phone numbers
  • your tax credit reference number (found on your notice to pay)
  • how much you’re paying
  • period you’re paying for

Making extra payments

Call the Tax Credit Payment Helpline if you want to make extra payments to clear the debt more quickly.

If you don’t pay

HMRC can change your tax code to collect the money owed. They’ll write explaining how this works. To ask them not to do this and pay another way you must contact the Tax Credit Payment Helpline within 30 days of getting their letter.