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HMRC Tax Debt Information

If you cannot pay your HMRC tax bill then you are not alone and there is help available. So what can you do?

What To Do If You Can’t Pay HMRC Tax Bill

You must arrange to pay your tax bill with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you either:

  • miss a payment
  • know you cannot pay on time

If you pay a tax bill late you must pay interest on the amount you owe until it’s paid off. You can avoid penalties by arranging a payment plan with HMRC before the tax is due – or by 1 April for Self Assessment.

If you owe Self Assessment tax and your bill is less than £30,000 you may be able to pay in monthly instalments.

For any other bills or problems paying, you must contact HMRC to discuss your options. How you contact HMRC depends on what you need to pay.

If you cannot pay because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

You may be able to pay your Self Assessment tax in monthly instalments. This includes any delayed (deferred) ‘payments on account’ that were due in July 2020, if you did not pay them at the time.

If you’re getting or planning to apply for Bereavement Support Payment, Maternity Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, contact HMRC before applying to pay your tax bill in instalments. Your benefits payments might be affected if you change how you pay your Self Assessment.

Contact the HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline if you cannot pay any other tax bills because of coronavirus.

If you’re self-employed

Affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

If you cannot pay your Self Assessment tax bill

You can set up a payment plan online to spread the cost of your latest Self Assessment bill if:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • your tax returns are up to date
  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You do not need to contact HMRC if you set up a payment plan.

Call the HMRC Self Assessment helpline if you’re not eligible for a payment plan or cannot use the online service.

Self Assessment Payment Helpline

Telephone: 0300 200 3822

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)

Find out about call charges

If you cannot pay other taxes

You might be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC if you’re unable to pay any other taxes in full. This lets you spread the cost of your tax bill by paying what you owe in instalments.

How you do this depends on whether you’ve received a payment demand.

If you’ve received a payment demand, like a tax bill or a letter threatening you with legal action, call the HMRC office that sent you the letter.

If you’ve not received a bill or letter, call the Payment Support Service.

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Disclaimer: Cannot Pay HMRC Tax Bill?

This page: Cannot Pay HMRC Tax Bill? is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. This article Cannot Pay HMRC Tax Bill? is provided for information purposes only. You can Contact Us on the specific facts of your case to obtain relevant advice via a Free Initial Consultation.

This page contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.