Debt help when you owe NI or taxes to the taxman

HMRC Debts overview

HMRC debts include money owed following a self-assessment or VAT return. HMRC debts include income tax, PAYE and national insurance.

HMRC debts are priority debts. If you don’t take steps to speak with HMRC or pay your bill in full, they will take ‘enforcement action’. Avoiding this may be relatively simple, especially if you’ve only missed a single repayment or will be able to pay at a later time.

HMRC are empowered to take drastic steps to recover any debt that you may own. This can include:

  • Collecting what you owe through your earnings or pension
  • Asking debt collection agencies to collect the money
  • Removing things you own and sell them (if you live in England, wales or Northern Ireland)
  • Removing money directly from your bank account or building society (if you live in England, wales or northern Ireland)
  • Taking you to court
  • Making you bankrupt or closing down your business

If you delay paying your bill, you will likely have to pay interest on the balance that was late being repaid. You may also find yourself landed with a penalty or surcharge.

Worried about debts that won't go away?

Debt help tips for tackling HMRC Debts

  • Always be realistic as to what you could afford to repay each month. While HMRC may be open to renegotiating the repayment schedule, this isn’t guaranteed. It’s far better to make a reasonable offer of a smaller repayment amount, and keep up with the schedule, rather than over promise on what you can afford.
  • If you’re struggling with personal debts in a wider sense, which is impacting your ability to keep up with your financial commitments and living expensive, you should explore possible debt solutions immediately.
  • If you owe VAT business tax, then you may find that HMRC want some assurances that your business is still viable and that your business is not insolvent.
  • The final word on HMRC debt is that it’s critical to take action ASAP. HMRC bring about enforcement action and charges far more swiftly and readily than many standard creditors. Which is why you should take any letters or notifications of due dates seriously from the outset.

IVAs – A potential debt solution for HMRC debt

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a form of debt settlement that can help you overcome not only HMRC debt, but most other common debts, such as overdrafts, personal loans and catalogue debts.

To qualify, you must owe at least £5,000 to a minimum of two creditors. Find out more on our Individual Voluntary Arrangement debt solution page.

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