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Online Direct Debit

This guide explains what you need to do to set up an online Direct Debit to pay one of the following:

  • Self Assessment
  • Corporation Tax
  • PAYE - including Class 1 National Insurance contributions and the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
  • Class 1A National Insurance contributions
  • PAYE Settlement Agreements
  • Machine Games Duty (MGD)
  • Settlements, other penalties and miscellaneous taxes (references beginning with an 'X')

If you want to pay VAT by Direct Debit please see the 'More useful links' section at the end of this page.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will only use the Direct Debit to collect the amount you ask them to. They won't collect any other amounts this way.

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When you can't use this service

The Banking Industry's Bacs payment scheme has introduced a £20 million cap on single Bacs transactions. If you are making a payment over £20 million you'll need to contact your bank to make alternative arrangements - for example, paying by CHAPS. And you'll need to allow enough time for your transaction to reach HMRC on or before the payment deadline.

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Who can set up a Direct Debit Instruction and payment

To set up an online Direct Debit you must be able to authorise Direct Debits from the bank/building society account that you will make payments from.

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Sign up for HMRC online services

Before you set up any Direct Debit payments you must have signed up for one of the following HMRC online services:

  • Self Assessment Online
  • PAYE for employers
  • Corporation Tax Online
  • CIS Online
  • Machine Games Duty Online

If you haven't already signed up you can find out more using the links below.

Once you've signed up you can start setting up Direct Debit payments right away. HMRC will send you an Activation Code (also known as an Activation PIN). Once you receive this code you must activate the service within 28 days or you won't be able to use online Direct Debit next time you want to make a payment.

Understanding and using Self Assessment Online

How to register for PAYE for employers

Corporation Tax Online: benefits and how to sign up

Understanding and using CIS Online

Machine Games Duty - how to sign up

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Budget Payment Plans for Self Assessment

Budget Payment Plans are available to Self Assessment customers who pay by online Direct Debit and are up to date to with their payments.

When you set up your Direct Debit you must select the Budget Payment Plan option.

With a Budget Payment Plan you make regular payments towards the amount you should pay by 31 January/31 July. The plan is flexible and allows you to:

  • decide the amount you want to pay each week or month
  • change your regular payment amount
  • stop making payments for up to 6 months
  • cancel payments at any time

If you haven't paid the full amount you owe through your Budget Payment Plan then you will need to make another payment to cover the difference. You can do this by setting up another Direct Debit and your payment must reach HMRC by 31 January/31 July.

You cannot use a Budget Payment Plan to make payments if:

  • you will be unable to pay the amount due on 31 January/31 July or
  • your payments are not up to date

If you are unable to pay the full amount you owe by 31 January/31 July or for advice on bringing your Self Assessment payments up to date please telephone the HMRC Payment Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3822.

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Variable Payment Plans for Machine Games Duty

There are two different payment plan options to pay your Machine Games Duty (MGD):

  • Variable Payment Plan - allows you to set-up a DDI to automatically collect the amount due on your online MGD return.
  • Single Payment Plan - you set-up a payment each time you send your online return

To use these options you will need to be signed up for the MGD online service.

Log in to set up a Direct Debit payment now

Find out how to sign up for the MGD online service

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Making your payments on time

Single Payment Plans and Self Assessment Budget Payment Plans

When you set up your first Direct Debit payment you should complete the online Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) at least 5 bank working days before the date you want your payment to be collected.

To make more payments using the same DDI allow at least 3 bank working days. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Variable Payment Plans for Machine Games Duty only

You must set- up your DDI at least 10 bank working days before you send your online MGD return. If you don't then you will need to make a payment using another payment method.

Once you have set up your DDI you just need to file your MGD return each quarter and HMRC will automatically collect the amount you owe within three bank working days of your payment date.

You won't be able to see any Direct Debit payments you've set up in your online account for up to 36 hours.

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Getting started with Direct Debit

To set up a DDI:

  • Log in to the online service that you are set up for. For example - Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, PAYE for employers, Construction Industry Scheme or Machine Games Duty
  • select Direct Debit payment from the left hand menu and follow the guidance. For MGD you can also select Direct Debit from your 'At a glance' page

You only need to set-up your DDI once unless you want to change the bank/building account that you are making your payments from.

After you've completed the DDI you then need to set-up your payment.

Log in to set up a DDI now

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Setting up payments

Once your DDI is set-up you can make a single payment. This means that you will need to set-up a payment each time you need to pay HMRC. For Self Assessment, you can also set up a Budget Payment Plan. You can also set-up a Variable Payment Plan for MGD.

When you set up your payment allow enough time for it to reach HMRC in time for your payment deadline.

Making a single payment

You can make a single payment to pay what you owe for any or all of the following:

  • Self Assessment
  • Corporation Tax
  • PAYE - including Class 1 National Insurance contributions and CIS
  • Class 1A National Insurance contributions
  • PAYE Settlement Agreements
  • Machine Games Duty
  • Settlements, other penalties and miscellaneous taxes (references beginning with an 'X')

If the tax or duty you have to pay is not on the list please look at the payment options on the back of your 'Notice to Pay' or the relevant web guide in paying HMRC.

Paying HMRC

Log in to set-up a Direct Debit payment now

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Making further payments

You can use your existing DDI to set-up more payments as long as you want to make the payments from the same bank/building society account. If you want to use a different bank/building society account then you will need to set-up a new DDI.

To make another payment using an existing DDI:

  • Log in to the online service that you are signed up for. For example - Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, PAYE for employers, Construction Industry Scheme or Machine Games Duty
  • select Direct Debit payment from the left hand menu. For MGD you can also select Direct Debit from your 'At a glance' page
  • then click on the relevant Direct Debit listed in the Summary of your Direct Debit Instructions (DDIs) screen and follow the guidance

Log in to set up further Direct Debit payments now

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What happens once you've setup your Direct Debit

You will receive a message telling you that it was successful.

Your bank statement

Your Direct Debit payment will appear on your bank statement as 'HMRC NDDS'.

Notifying HMRC of changes

You can change or cancel a single payment or a Budget Payment Plan online up to 3 bank working days before the payment is collected.

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More useful links

VAT online Direct Debit

Find out about The Direct Debit Guarantee (PDF 49K)

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