What to do if you need extra time to pay your tax bill

Paying the tax bill is never something a business or individual looks forward to and despite expert accountants being there to help clients, it remains a problem.

There is help on hand though!  If you need more time to pay your tax bill, then there are options that come from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMIT) themselves.

Many organisations are oblivious to the fact that HMRC have in place a Payment Support Service http://bit.ly/1PuFiob whose remit is to consider reasonable offers to pay.

Of course, this is no excuse to try to avoid the tax bill and HMRC knowing this will be firm but fair. They charge interest on any deferred tax and payments and the payments have to be made at the agreed times or else the arrangement will end.

We at AIT say that if you find yourself in such a situation it is important to contact them as soon as you are aware that you may be running into difficulties, and preferably before the tax actually becomes due.

However, an arrangement may still be made if you are late and this can be done by calling them on 0300 200 3835 from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am until 4pm at weekends.

Such is the nature of the beast that they can get very busy, so try to call early in the day to avoid sitting on the phone for too long.

However, you should also be aware that they may ask if you have credit cards and may suggest you pay the liability using the card.

If you avoid this, in general, it is usually possible to spread the cost over three months, though in some circumstances it may be possible to arrange a longer period.

The procedure is far from straightforward and if you do go into a payment arrangement with them, then HMRC will require a detailed statement of assets and liabilities before making an agreement. It is done only on the assets of the individual with the outstanding debt, so does not interfere with the belongings of a spouse or partner.

Of course, getting into such a situation is the last thing anybody wants to do and a good relationship with your accountant can nip problems in the bud long beforehand.

If you feel you haven’t got the relationship you want with your current accountants, where you see the level of transparency you need, then maybe it’s time to change?

If you would like to talk about this or any other accountancy problem, call us at AIT today on 0121 711 1957.

We are always happy to help.