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  • Paying your tax by making a voluntary direct payment

Paying your tax by making a voluntary direct payment

If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are unable to collect the tax you owe through your tax code or you want to pay it back in full you can make a voluntary direct payment.

This guide explains what you need to do to make a voluntary direct payment to HMRC.

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Making a voluntary direct payment

Currently you can only make a voluntary direct payment by cheque, postal order or bank/building society draft.

If HMRC have sent you a P800 Tax Calculation and have not told you they will collect your underpayment through your tax code they will also send you a letter and payslip. If you want to make a payment before you get the letter and payslip you will need to contact HMRC to arrange for a completed payslip to be sent to you. You can do this by using the telephone number or address on your P800 Tax Calculation or Self Assessment Statement

To make your payment please:

  • make your cheque, postal order or bank/building society draft payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by VP and your National Insurance number
  • send your payment and payslip to - HM Revenue & Customs, Bradford, BD99 1YY
  • do not fold the cheque, postal order or bank/building society draft and do not fasten them together

Please allow at least three working days for the payment to reach HMRC to allow for any delays in the post which are outside HMRC's control.

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What to do if you don't want to pay in full

If you're an employee or you receive a company pension you will pay tax under PAYE (Pay As You Earn). You may be able to pay the tax you owe through your tax code.

Paying the tax you owe through your tax code

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What to do if paying the tax you owe will cause financial difficulties

If you can't afford to pay the money you owe contact HMRC using the address or telephone number shown on your P800 Tax Calculation or Self Assessment Calculation to discuss options for paying. They may let you spread the payments over two or three years.

Problems paying HMRC: advice for businesses, individual and tax agent

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What to do if you are on means-tested benefits

If you are on means-tested benefits, the way you pay back tax may affect your entitlement. You will need to tell your benefits provider about any changes to your income after tax or in your capital as a result of paying HMRC the tax you owe. For information on where to get help and advice see the next section 'Getting help or advice'.

If your 'net income' - income after tax has been taken off - changes or your capital goes down as a result of you paying back tax, tell your benefits provider.

Tax credits are based on income before tax is deducted and will not be affected.

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Getting help or advice

If you need advice or more information a number of voluntary organisations may be able to help you - or you could consult a professional adviser (though bear in mind there may be a charge). If you have debts, there are many organisations offering free and independent debt advice over the phone or face to face.

Information on organisations that can help you with your debt problems

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More useful links

Understanding and checking your P800 Tax Calculation (PDF 125K)

Understanding your Self Assessment statement

Tax return deadlines and penalties

What could happen if you don't pay HMRC?

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