Paying an HMRC Fine: What you Need to Know

In most cases, when HMRC sends you a fine or penalty, they’ll do so via a ‘Notice to Pay’ letter, which will include a payslip. All the relevant information such as how to pay, and how long you have to settle the debt, should be included in their correspondence. In this article, we’ve covered the basic steps of the process for your convenience.

Receiving an HMRC Notice to Pay Letter

If you’ve received a notice to pay letter in the post, the first thing is to remain calm. If you can pay the fine, do so immediately via the means stated on the letter. HMRC appreciate promptness, but also good communication. Whatever happens this isn’t something you can ignore.

If you can’t pay, make contact with your financial adviser immediately or, if the fine relates to a limited company, with us via the live chat. We are experts in this situation and can give you some confidential advice on your situation.

HMRC has Forgotten Include a Payslip with the Notice to Pay

In this instance (which may occur, for example, if you’ve verbally agreed on a payment with HMRC) you will need to include the 14 or 15-character reference HMRC will have provided along with your payment. These references start the letter ‘X’.

Without a payslip, you cannot pay in person at your bank or building society but must pay via post, including your contact details, unique reference number, and details of the penalty, and period you are paying.

How Much Time Should I Allow for Paying an HMRC Fine?

Always refer to HMRC’s correspondence to you as the primary guide but, failing that, here are the timeframes for settling fines or penalties. These are dependent on the method of payment.

  •         Online or telephone banking (Faster Payments) – Same or next day
  •         CHAPS – Same or next day
  •         At your bank or building society – Same or next day
  •         At the Post Office – Same or next day
  •         Online debit or credit card – Same or next day
  •         Bacs – 3 working days
  •         By cheque through the post – 3 working days
  •         Direct Debit – 5 working days

Can I Appeal an HMRC Fine?

You can certainly appeal a fine if you believe it to be unjustified. Your case will be reviewed by an HMRC officer who has had no involvement in the original case, and if your case stands up the fine will be dropped. Any letter HMRC sends you usually includes an appeal form with it, or at least details of how to appeal.

If you do not know the correct HMRC department to appeal to, you can write them a letter including details of:

  • your name or business name
  • the reference number mentioned on the letter they’ve sent you
  • a clear explanation of the situation, and why you feel it is unjustified

HMRC’s Bank Details for Penalty Payments

These details are appropriate for:  Online payments or Telephone Banking, CHAPS, Bacs

  •         Sort Code: 08 32 10
  •         Account Number: 12001020
  •         Account Name: HMRC Shipley

How Long do Fine Payments take to Reach HMRC once I’ve sent them?

Again, this is dependent on the method of payment. Average times are as follows:

  • Faster Payments (online or telephone banking) typically reach HMRC on the same or next day, including weekends and bank holidays
  • CHAPS Payments typically reach HMRC the same working day if you pay within your bank’s processing times
  • Bacs payments usually take at least three working days

How do I pay an HMRC Fine if I’m Paying from an Overseas Bank Account?

Overseas payments should go to a different account from UK based ones. The current details are as follows:

Account number: GB03 BARC 2011 4783 9776 92

(IBAN) Bank identifier code (BIC): BARCGB22

Account name: HMRC Shipley

Can I Settle an HMRC Penalty with a Credit Card?

HMRC do allow this although there are limitations on how many such payments you can make within a specific period. They have an online payment system for that here.

What’s the HMRC Postal Address if I’m Settling a Fine Through the post?

Don’t forget to include your reference number. The correct address is as follows:

HMRC

Direct

BX5 5BD

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