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Should you pay your self-assessment tax bill in instalments?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
08/12/2021
HMRC reports that 20,000 self-assessment taxpayers have used monthly payment plans to pay £46m in tax since April.

HMRC’s Time to Pay facility allows people who are registered for self-assessment to pay their tax in instalments rather than in one go.

Taxpayers can use the online service for tax bills worth up to £30,000 without the need to talk to HMRC. The service will create a bespoke monthly payment plan for each person based on how much tax is owed and the length of time needed to pay.

Last year, 123,000 people used self-serve Time to Pay to spread the cost of their 2019 to 2020 tax bill, worth £460m.

Taxpayers have until 31 January 2022 to complete their tax return for the 2020 to 2021 financial year and pay their bill. If they can’t pay in full, taxpayers can set up their own Time to Pay arrangement online if they:

  • have filed their tax return for the 2020 to 2021 financial year
  • owe less than £30,000
  • are within 60 days of the payment deadline
  • plan to pay their debt off within the next 12 months or less

If someone owes more than £30,000, or needs longer to pay, they should call the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “We understand some customers might be worrying about paying their self-assessment bill this year, and we want to support them. To see if you’re eligible to set up a payment plan, go to GOV.UK and search ‘pay my self-assessment’.”

HMRC has also reiterated its pervious scam warnings. It urged people to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information.

It says taxpayers should always type in the full online address (www.gov.uk/hmrc) to get the correct link for filing their self-assessment return online securely and free of charge.

HMRC said it has seen high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department.

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