If you’re worried about whether you will be able to pay your tax on time, then get in touch with HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) as soon as possible. The telephone number is 0845 302 1435 and the lines are open from 8am to 8pm during the week and 8am to 4pm at weekends. 

The Chancellor announced in his Pre-Budget Report that HMRC had launched the BPSS to help businesses, including self-employed individuals,  who are facing temporary financial difficulties because of the current economic climate and are unable to pay their tax.  The service covers most taxes and duties including Income Tax, National Insurance, Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE. The service offers a fast and streamlined way of setting up a time to pay agreement based on an affordable timetable.  In the majority of cases the caller will get a decision and have a payment arrangement set up within 10 minutes.  Please make sure you have the following information to hand: your tax reference number, details of the taxes that you are worried about and when you expect to be able to pay the bill. 


Payment terms are agreed on a case-by-case basis and HMRC is prepared to be as flexible as possible, with the aim of bringing the business’ tax back up to date on a timetable that is both reasonable and appropriate to each individual situation.  Some businesses will have larger or more complex affairs and it may not be possible to deal with the matter with one phone call. In these circumstances, HMRC undertake to get back with a decision within 4 working days The service is intended for new enquiries only and supplements HMRC’s existing time to pay arrangements. If you have already been contacted by HMRC about an overdue payment then please call the office that originally contacted you. If you need more information, please visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/pbr2008/business-payment.htm.  

Since its launch at the end of November to the first week of January 2009 the service has received over 32,000 calls and made over 16000 time to pay agreements over the phone worth over £255m.Additionally over 5300 cases worth in excess of £367 m have been referred for further consideration. The service is there so that we know in advance of any problems. If you think that you will need more time to pay your tax, please contact us as early as you can.  Please do not wait until the payment is overdue.