Advice if your business can’t pay what it owes HM Revenue & Customs

HMRC expects businesses to arrange their affairs and finances to ensure that returns are submitted and any tax, National Insurance and other payments are made by the due dates.

They recognise however that there may be occasions when, as a result of circumstances outside your control, this isn’t possible – especially during the current economic conditions.

On this page:

Top

If you’re worried about being able to meet your business tax payments

If you’re worried about being able to meet payments owed to HM Revenue & Customs, or that payments coming due will cause problems for your business cashflow, you can contact their dedicated Business Payment Support Service seven days a week.

To enable them to deal with your call as efficiently as possible, you’ll need to have the following information to hand:

  • your tax reference number
  • details of the tax that you are or will have trouble paying
  • basic details of your business’s income and outgoings

Please note: The support line is for new enquiries only. If HMRC has already contacted you about an overdue payment, or if you already have a payment arrangement with them, please see below for what to do next.

Get contact details for the Business Payment Support Service

Top

If HMRC has already contacted you about an overdue payment or if you already have a payment arrangement with them

If HMRC has already contacted you about an overdue payment it’s important that you call the original office that contacted you. They’ll be ready to discuss payment arrangement options with you and explain how to avoid formal action being taken.

If you’ve already have a payment arrangement with them but have additional concerns about what you can pay, the office you’ve been dealing with will be able to discuss further options with you.

You’ll find the contact details you need on the correspondence sent to you.

Get contact details for HMRC Tax Offices

If you’ve received a warning letter about court action

If you’ve received a warning letter about court action and can’t get through to the office that sent it, you can call the Business Payment Support Service line and their advisers will try to help.

Contact details for the Business Payment Support Service

If HMRC is already taking court proceedings against you

HMRC is always ready to enter into realistic time to pay arrangements rather than go to court. But there will sometimes be cases where they assess that they should go ahead with court action, and in those circumstances they will explain why. Please get in touch with the office named on the correspondence they have sent you to discuss your concerns.

If you have recently made a payment to us and are now experiencing cashflow problems

HMRC cannot repay amounts that you have previously paid to them – unless your tax bill changes. You may however want to get in touch with the Business Payment Support Service to discuss time to pay arrangements for any further payments when they are due.

Contact details for the Business Payment Support Service

If you are already the subject of a tax enquiry and are having difficulty paying your agent

This is a matter between you and your agent, however it’s probably a good idea that you to talk to the office responsible for the enquiry.

Top

If you’re waiting for a repayment from HMRC and this is causing you cashflow problems

You should contact the office who advised you that a repayment was due. You will find the telephone number on the correspondence sent to you.

Top

Organisations offering free advice on debt problems

There are a number of organisations providing free, confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Follow the link below to find out more.

Organisations that can help you with debt problems

Information about dealing with business debts from Business Debtline

Top