In this section:

  • Corporation Tax

How to pay Corporation Tax

This guide gives you the payment deadlines for Corporation Tax and tells you about your payment options.

It is now mandatory to submit your Company Tax Return online and pay any tax electronically. HMRC recommends that you pay by Direct Debit.

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Corporation Tax payment deadlines

Your company is responsible for calculating how much Corporation Tax it owes and for paying it on time.

If you don't pay your Corporation Tax on time, HMRC will charge interest from the day that it's due until you pay it.

Your Corporation Tax payment is normally due by 9 months and one day after the end of your accounting period. So if your Company Tax Return covers your accounting period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010, then Corporation Tax must be paid no later than 1 October 2011.

If your company is set up for the Corporation Tax Online service, you can use the 'View liabilities and payments' facility to manage your Corporation Tax position. You can use the 'View account' facility to see details your current balance, including any interest and penalties, together with payments, repayments and reallocations.

If you're already signed up for Business Tax Dashboard you can also view your Corporation Tax liabilities and payments there.

Find out more about deadlines for paying Corporation Tax

Corporation Tax Online: setting up and managing your online account

Read more about HMRC's Business Tax Dashboard

Receiving interest if you pay Corporation Tax early

If you pay your Corporation Tax early, HMRC will pay you interest. This also applies to each instalment due from a large company.

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Use the right payment reference

When you make your payment to HMRC it is important that you use the right reference number. This makes sure your payment reaches your account and that way you won't get reminders after you've paid.

To pay your Corporation Tax you will need to use your 17 character reference number. For example 1234005678A00101A. You can find your reference number:

  • in your Corporation Tax Online account
  • on the payslip HMRC sends you

Your reference number is specific to the accounting period you are paying so please quote it exactly. If you provide an incorrect reference or include spaces between the characters there may be a delay before your account is updated.

If you don't know your specific reference for the accounting period you want to pay you should contact HMRC on Telephone: 03000 583945. You will also need to provide HMRC with your ten-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

Check your Corporation Tax reference with HMRC's reference checker

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Direct Debit - How to set up

You can use your Corporation Tax Online account to set-up a single Direct Debit for the amount you owe.

HMRC recommends that you pay your Corporation Tax by Direct Debit. It's safe and secure, available 24 hours a day and puts you in control, making it less likely that you'll miss a payment deadline. You can also set-up a future payment as soon as you know how much is due.

If you're late submitting your return or payment, you may be charged a penalty. Interest may also be charged.

Find out how to pay by Direct Debit now

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Online debit or credit card using BillPay

If you have a debit or credit card from a UK card issuer, you can pay your Corporation Tax online using the BillPay service provided by Santander Corporate Banking.

If you pay by credit card you will have to pay a transaction fee of 1.4 per cent.

HMRC does not accept American Express or Diners Club cards.

A BillPay payment takes 3 bank working days to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

If you're late submitting your return or payment, you may be charged a penalty. Interest may also be charged.

Check your Corporation Tax reference with HMRC's reference checker

Making a debit or credit card payment now (Opens new window)

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Multiple or composite payments by CHAPS

When you pay by CHAPS, HMRC recommends that you make a separate payment for each Corporation Tax reference number.

If you think you would like to make a single payment to cover a number of Corporation Tax references (called a 'multiple' or 'composite' payment) you should contact the HMRC Accounts Office you normally deal with. They will then get back to you with further guidance.

Please do not use these links for advice on anything other than CHAPS payments, as HMRC will not be able to reply.

Contact HMRC's Cumbernauld Accounts Office

Contact HMRC's Shipley Accounts Office

Remember, if you're late submitting your return or payment, you may be charged a penalty. Interest may also be charged.

Find out more about deadlines for paying Corporation Tax

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Paying at your bank by Bank Giro

If your bank or building society offers the Bank Giro service you can make a Corporation Tax payment at your own bank branch by cheque or cash using your HMRC payslip. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way please:

  • take your HMRC payslip to your own branch (other banks may refuse to accept it or may charge you for this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your Corporation Tax reference number

Please allow at least 3 bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

When paying by Bank Giro you should only use an official HMRC payslip. HMRC payslips contain the correct HMRC bank account information and ensures payment reaches your account on time.

Find out more about deadlines for paying Corporation Tax

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At the Post Office


You can make a Corporation Tax payment at the Post Office by cheque, cash or debit card without charge. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying at the Post Office please:

  • take your HMRC payslip with you (otherwise you'll be charged for using this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'Post Office Ltd'

Please allow at least 3 bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Find out more about deadlines for paying Corporation Tax

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By post

It is now mandatory for companies and organisations to submit their Company Tax Returns and pay all Corporation Tax and related payments electronically.

If you want to continue to use a cheque to make your payment, you will need to take your cheque and HMRC payslip to your own bank or building society and pay by bank giro or to the Post Office. HMRC counts these payment options as electronic.

You can find more information on how to use these methods in the sections in 'Paying at your bank by Bank Giro' and 'At the Post Office'.

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Payments under a Group Payment Arrangement (GPA)

Your GPA reference number

Where you have chosen to make your payments under a GPA and agreed which payment method you will use you'll need to make sure that you use the payment reference number provided by HMRC.

HMRC will write to you each year to give you the payment reference details. Your reference number is made up of 17 characters, for example 1234005678A00101A - this reference is only an example and should not be used to make a payment. Your reference is specific to your GPA so please quote it exactly. If you provide an incorrect reference number there may be a delay before your account is credited.

If you don't have a specific GPA reference you should contact HMRC on Telephone: 03000 583947.

It's important that you show the reference number with no gaps between the characters - otherwise it could lead to delays in updating your records.

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Telling HMRC if no Corporation Tax payment is due

Even if you have no Corporation Tax payment to make for an accounting period you must let HMRC know. You can do this online using the link below. It's important to do this before the payment due date to avoid being issued with a payment reminder.

Notify HMRC online that no Corporation Tax payment is due

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Checking HMRC have received your payment

You can use your Corporation Tax Online account to check that your payment has reached your account. All payments will be shown on your account within a few days of HMRC receiving them if you've given the right reference number.

Read more on how to view your payments online

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More useful links

What to do if you can't pay Corporation Tax

File returns and manage your Corporation Tax account online

For more detailed information about Corporation Tax

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