In this section:

  • How to pay PAYE late payment penalties

How to pay PAYE late payment penalties

This guide gives you the payment deadlines PAYE late payment penalties and tells you about your payment options.

If you are looking for guidance on how to make your monthly or quarterly PAYE payments please see the section 'More useful links' at the end of this page.

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PAYE late payment penalty payment deadlines

If a penalty is due, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will send you a late payment penalty notice telling you how much you owe. On receipt of the penalty notice you have 30 days to either pay or appeal.

Find out more about late payment penalties

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Use the right payment reference

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

To pay your PAYE late payment penalty you will need to use you the reference number on the penalty notice that HMRC sends you. For example, XA123456789012.

Please do not use your PAYE Accounts Office reference to make your payment, as HMRC will not be able to identify the penalty payment and you will continue to receive reminders even though you have paid.

Make sure you enter your penalty reference number with no spaces between the characters or it could delay the payment reaching your account.

Check your PAYE late payment penalty with HMRC's reference checker

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Direct Debit - How to set-up

If you are signed up for HMRC's PAYE Online for employers service you can set up a Direct Debit for HMRC to collect your payment.

HMRC recommends that you pay your PAYE late payment penalty 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.

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 PAYE late payment penalty 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 three bank working days to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

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

Check your PAYE late payment penalty reference with the HMRC reference checker

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Bank details for Bacs Direct Credit, Faster payments by online/telephone banking, or CHAPS

You can use your bank or building society services to pay by:

  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payments by online or telephone banking
  • CHAPS

Setting up and making payments

To pay your PAYE late payment penalty using any of these payment options you'll need to set up the payment details with your bank. You'll need to give them:

  • HMRC's bank account details
  • your penalty reference number

Find out HMRC's bank account details

Faster Payments

This is a service that has been introduced by the banking industry for sending online or telephone banking payments on the same or next day, providing the value of the payment does not exceed the value limit set by the sending bank.

More about the Faster Payments Service

Information about Faster Payment limits (Opens new window)

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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 payment at your own bank branch by cheque or cash. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way please:

  • take the payslip sent with your late payment penalty notice, and not a payslip from your payment booklet, to your own bank branch (other banks may refuse to accept it or may charge you for this service)
  • make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your penalty reference

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

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

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At the Post Office

You can pay your PAYE late payment penalty 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 this way please:

  • take the payslip sent with your late payment penalty notice, and not a payslip from your payment booklet, with you (or you will be charged for using this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'Post Office Ltd'

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

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By post

HMRC recommends that you pay your PAYE late payment penalty electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide. If you use the right reference number electronic payments are more efficient and secure than sending cheques by post.

If you need to pay by post please:

  • make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by penalty reference
  • send the cheque and payslip sent with the late payment penalty notice, and not a payslip from your payment booklet, to HMRC using the pre-addressed envelope if you were sent one or use the address below
  • do not fold the payslip or cheque and do not fasten them together

You should allow at least three working days for the payment to reach HMRC. This allows for any delays in the post outside HMRC's control.

If you do not have a pre-addressed HMRC envelope please send your payment to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Bradford
BD98 1YY

Postdated cheques

HMRC only accept a postdated cheque:

  • before your penalty is due - if you send a cheque for the full amount and it arrives by the due date
  • after your penalty is due - if you have an agreement with HMRC to pay with post dated cheques

HMRC has automated the way they deal with payments sent by post. So you need to send a covering letter with your post dated cheque. Otherwise HMRC won't know the cheque is postdated and will present it straight away.

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Using the Government Banking Service

Employers such as government departments and health authorities who have an account with the Government Banking Service (GBS) can make PAYE late penalty payments using the GBS online service. This will transfer the funds direct to HMRC's GBS bank account.

Provided you initiate payment within the time specified by GBS, HMRC will receive payment on the same day.

Please take care if you need to enter HMRC's GBS account details. If you make a mistake there may be a delay before your account is updated or your payment may not be received at all.

Your penalty reference number

You will need to provide your penalty reference number with your payment. Please do not use your Accounts Office reference to make your payment, as HMRC will not be able to identify the penalty payment and you will continue to be receive reminders even though you have paid.

Check your PAYE late payment penalty reference with HMRC's reference checker

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Payment receipt requests

If you have made your payment electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide you can confirm from your own bank or building society statement that payment has cleared your account.

If you send your payment by post you will need to send a letter with your payment. Please don't write on your payslip as they are processed automatically.

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What to do if you don't have a payslip

HMRC recommends you pay online, or by Faster Payments by online or telephone banking. But if you are paying by post and you don't have a printed payslip from HMRC you can complete and print off a PAYE late payment penalties payment slip instead. Send this with your cheque to HMRC.

Go to the payment slip

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More useful links

Find out more about monthly or quarterly PAYE payments in our guide 'How to pay PAYE/Class 1 National Insurance Contributions'

Find out more about late payment penalties

More about PAYE/National Insurance payments and deadlines

Find out about appealing against a penalty

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