Self-assessors warned on HMRC credit card ban

Contractors who last year paid their self-assessment bill to the taxman before his ban on credit card payments took effect are being warned there’s no escape this New Year.

It means that the Christmas holidays might need to be used to save the cash required for the self-assessment payment deadline next month, the ICAEW says in an alert to taxpayers.

Condemned at the time as a “customer-unfriendly approach” by HMRC, the ban was introduced because of new rules that prevented the tax authority from charging fees when taxpayers paid by card.

Rather than simply waive the fee, the Revenue instead decided that from January 13th 2018 it would ban the use of personal credit cards when taxpayers made a self-assessment payment.

As the policy was fessed up to by the tax department a good month before it came into force last year, many self-assessors moved quickly and paid on credit card before the ban applied.

“Instead of relying on payment by credit card…. in advance of the change,” said the ICAEW, “people…[now have no choice other than to select from HMRC’s] other payment options”.

Those options include online/telephone banking, debit card online; direct debit; BACS, CHAPS or cheque posted to HMRC or at a bank/building society (not a post office anymore).

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ technical tax manager, Caroline Miskin, said Time To Pay Arrangements and Budget Payment Plans could also be available for some taxpayers, depending on their individual circumstances.

“If you haven’t allowed for this change, don’t despair,” she added, referring to the credit card ban. “There are other payment options you can use. If you have difficulty making payment is important that you contact HMRC at your earliest convenience so they can help advise on how to make payment.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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