06 July 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has updated the guidance on ‘What will happen if you do not pay your tax bill’. The guidance provides information on how HMRC deals with customers who do not pay tax owed. This includes debt enforcement powers, debt collection agencies and if you live abroad, international recovery agreements.

'Recovering the debt through your tax code' section has been added to the guidance. If an individual cannot pay the tax owed in full and on time, HMRC may adjust the tax code to collect any outstanding tax debts. If HMRC does not do this, HMRC can start to collect through an individual’s tax code in the current tax year. The amounts HMRC collect will be spread equally across available months in any given tax year. It further states that HMRC can tax up to 50% of the gross income through this process.

If you cannot pay tax owed in full and on time, HMRC can work with you to find a way for you to pay what you owe as quickly as possible and in a way that is affordable for you.

You should always contact HMRC if you cannot pay the tax, you owe or disagree with the debt amount. To discuss the best way forward, individuals:

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