Where a taxpayer has difficulty paying their tax liabilities HMRC may agree ‘time to pay arrangements’ whereby the taxpayer agrees to pay off the amount owing by instalments after the due date. These arrangements are only entered into where the taxpayer is genuinely unable to pay by the due date and is able to commit to agreed payments to bring their tax up to date.
HMRC have announced that where time to pay arrangements are agreed the payments will need to be made by Direct Debit. This has always been HMRC’s preferred method of collection but this became mandatory from 3 August 2015.
However, HMRC do state that:
‘We recognise that there will be exceptional circumstances where a customer is unable to set up a direct debit, perhaps because their bank account will not allow it. In such cases payment by other methods may be agreed.’