Have you received a self-assessment reminder and how do you pay your tax?

If, like many people, you leave the preparation and filing of your tax return until the last minute, you would probably have been jolted into action by receiving a self-assessment reminder from HMRC. The reminders used to be a simple one-page letter saying that you hadn’t filed your tax return and to do so before 31 January. The letter also used to have a tear-off counterfoil at the bottom so you could pay your tax over the counter at a bank or post office or send a cheque in the post.

Have you received your reminder?

You may have noticed that you haven’t received this reminder this year? Firstly, if you relied on the letter to prepare your tax return, you’d better do so now as the filing deadline is this Saturday! Secondly, how do you pay your tax?

New HMRC email notification process

HMRC never told anyone they were going to stop sending reminders, but have reported that they will be sending e-mail reminders where they know your email address. Now we are all well aware of the number of scam emails purportedly from HMRC so, you may have received one and simply deleted it.  If you have never given your email address to HMRC you will not have received a reminder at all. Is this a ploy to increase the level of late filing penalties that HMRC will charge? I’m sure HMRC will deny that, but why did they not send everyone a letter warning them of this change of policy, after all, we have become used to these reminders since self-assessment came into being 18 years ago.

So, how do you pay your self-assessment tax bill if you haven’t got a payslip?

HMRC would prefer that all payments be made electronically, but many banks have a £ 10,000 limit on making payments online and post offices won’t accept cheques over £ 10,000.

Here are the options:

Internet banking

If you are using your own bank’s internet banking facility please make sure that you select “self-assessment” (not VAT or corporation tax). HMRC uses two main accounts:-

Shipley accounts office:

Sort code:                           08-32-10

Account number:             12001020

Cumbernauld accounts office:

Sort code:                           08-32-10

Account number:             12001039

If you are unsure which office you should use, please use the Cumbernauld account.

You will need your own UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) when making the payment. This is your ten digit reference which can be found on your tax return or any statements you have received from HMRC. If you cannot locate this, you should contact your accountant.

To pay by Debit or Credit card – BillPay

To pay by a debit or credit card, you need to use the BillPay service provided by Santander.

This can be found here.

Again you will need your UTR so that the payment can be correctly allocated to your account.

Please note that if you use a credit card there is a card fee added to the total payment.

To pay by cheque (by post)

You can prepare and print your own payslip to use when posting a cheque to HMRC. But remember it needs to arrive no later than Saturday 31st January 2015.

If I can help you in any way, please contact me.

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