If you have a business, chances are you’ll also have a self assessment tax bill due at the end of January. The following is a quick summary of how to deal with it:
1. The Deadline
If you have a tax bill for the 2011 tax year, it is due by 31 January 2012. Failure to pay by this date will result in interest and possibly surcharges (e.g. there is a 5% surcharge on any outstanding tax not paid by the end of February).
2. How to Pay
There are a number of ways to pay your tax bill, the most common ones being a cheque in the post, by cash at your bank, or by BACS. See here for the full rundown. NB HMRC now accept faster payments, which may give you a couple more days.
3. What if You Can’t Pay?
HMRC have a system in place called the Business Payment Support Service, commonly known as ‘Time to Pay’, which allows business owners to arrange with HMRC to spread the payments of their taxes if their business is struggling. However, as we reported last year, it appears that the regime is not as easy as it used to be.
4. Payments on Account
Many sole traders and partnerships also have Payments on Account to make, which are contributions towards the following year’s tax bills. Please see here for an explanation as to how Payments on Account work.