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Can't pay? Won't pay?

H M Revenue & Customs is again toughening its stance against late payers.


With effect from 3 August 2015 it will only agree to time to pay arrangements if the taxpayer agrees to a Direct Debit arrangement.


The effective date of 3 August means that the new arrangements will affect taxpayers who are unable to make the payment on account due on 31 July.


If you are unable to pay your tax liability – whether it be Corporation Tax, Self Assessment or VAT – it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. In robinson+co’s experience H M Revenue are likely to be more sympathetic the earlier you contact them about payment difficulties – although that may not be too sympathetic.


“We can – and do - contact HMRC on behalf of our clients in these circumstances,” says Brett Bennett, robinson+co’s Tax Manager, “but we do need some information from you before we can do so. The HMRC agent will ask us:

  • the amount of the tax bill you’re finding it difficult to pay and the reasons why
  • what you’ve done to try to get the money to pay the bill
  • how much you can pay immediately and how long you may need to pay the rest
  • your income and expenditure
  • your assets, like savings and investments
  • what you’re doing to get your tax payments back in order”

HMRC’s website goes on to say that “HMRC will decide whether you should be able to pay immediately - or if you can’t, whether you will be able to get your payments back on track with more time.” This is more than a little presumptive of HMRC but it is indicative of the attitude you can expect!

“Please contact us as soon as you anticipate a problem,” finishes Brett. “The sooner you contact us the more we can help you.”


As ever the team can be contacted at any of our offices:


  • Whitehaven      01946 692423

  • Gosforth            019467 25808

  • Workington       01900 603623

News Archive

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Alison Harker, Wigton

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Carole & Brian Atkinson, B&C Atkinson Ltd

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Modern Homes, Workington

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robinson+co is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

robinson+co is a trading name of robinson+co (Gosforth) Limited registered in England & Wales 08088245. Registered office Oxford Chambers, New Oxford Street, Workington CA14 2LR. Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales for a range of investment business activities.
robinson+co Financial Services Limited is registered in England & Wales 07272147. Registered office Oxford Chambers, New Oxford Street, Workington CA14 2LR. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority firm number 597189.

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The firm's professional indemnity insurance policy is provided by Liberty who may be contacted via Bluefin Professions at Castlemead, Lower Castle Street, Bristol BS1 3AG. The policy applies to claims wherever made outside the United States or Canada, based on acts, errors or omissions occurring anywhere in the world.

robinson+co Financial Services Limited's policy is provided by Collegiate Management Services Limited and can also be contacted via Bluefin Professions.

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