Can’t Make HMRC PAYE Payments? Trouble Paying PAYE?

Specialist HMRC Advice for Directors

Since 06/04/13, employers should be reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time. This is also referred to as ‘Real Time Information’ – or ‘RTI’.

This means that you as an employer (or your accountant, or bookkeeper) will have to:

  • Send the details of PAYE to HMRC every time an employee is paid, at the time of payment;
  • Use software for payroll to forward the relevant information digitally as part of a routine payroll process.

I Can’t Make My HMRC Tax Payments, What Should I Do?

If you have spoken to HMRC about having problems paying PAYE, it will depend on how much confidence they have in your ability to pay. In other words, if this is the first time that you’re having trouble paying HMRC PAYE then they will react differently than if they were dealing with a repeat ‘offender’.

If this is the first time you’re having trouble paying PAYE, then we are assuming that you have tried contacting the HMRC Business Payment Support Service as they will assess your case on its own merits.

However, if this is not the first time you find yourself unable to make your HMRC PAYE payments it is important that you call the precise office that contacted you this time – there is no point in contacting the HMRC Business Payment Support Service at this stage given that your situation regarding your inability to pay HMRC PAYE has unfortunately already progressed past this point.

If all communications with HMRC have been exhausted and you have tried a time to pay arrangement, then you will need to seek specialist, professional help. You can contact us at this stage on 08000 746 757.

My Company is Insolvent, and I Can’t Pay HMRC – What Now?

If you need to close the company down, then there may be serious implications that need checking as there are specific rules concerning PAYE/NI which could result in you, as a director, being made personally liable.

Being late on HMRC PAYE payments may be a particularly relevant warning indicator. The fact that HMRC PAYE is due may indicate that you may have behaved negligently and in the worst case scenario, you can be accused of behaving fraudulently. HMRC may take a very serious view of this.

Will HMRC Accept a Time to Pay Arrangement for PAYE/NI?

Possibly, but you will be expected to demonstrate that the company can afford to repay the PAYE/NI over a maximum of twelve months, along with any other taxes that are due.

What Will HRMC Do?

That depends. If you have exhausted HMRC’s patience you need to act swiftly as HMRC will not go away – they will want the tax paid regardless. The first stage is usually to use threatening letters, after which they may try to prove the debt in law by pursuing you via the County Court which will affect your company’s credit rating (not yours).

They may also issue a Statutory Demand. This is incredibly serious because if you do not pay in full or negotiate a settlement, they will threaten legal action. This, in turn, most likely results in the compulsory liquidation of your company.

Will HMRC Wind Up My Company?

Yes. HMRC has a duty to collect taxes for the UK government. They are also responsible for more winding up petitions than almost everyone else put together. Where HMRC PAYE & NI are involved, you will almost certainly be investigated to see if, in your role as a director, you have acted negligently or fraudulently.

As a director, there are specific rules where PAYE & NI are involved, and you can be made personally liable for these taxes.

I have Trouble Paying PAYE & NI, Can Bailiffs Seize My Assets?

Yes. HMRC can seize assets and keep in mind that HMRC does not have to prove the debt via the normal legal channels, so they can move much faster if they feel it is necessary.

I Owe HMRC PAYE & NI, But I Don’t Have Any Assets. Will they Wind Up My Company?

Yes. HMRC has a duty not just to collect taxes, but also to set an example to the tax paying public.

If you cannot afford to make your National Insurance or HMRC PAYE payment you may be held personally liable if your company is forced into liquidation by an HMRC winding up petition. If you are concerned about this or any of the information on this page, you may need specialist help. For advice on HMRC PAYE payments and other taxes that you can’t pay, speak to someone now by calling 08000 746 757.

Author: Mike Smith