Several ways to pay

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Q: I have seen the adverts reminding everyone about the tax return deadline next week. I know I can file my return online, but do I have to go to the bank to pay, or are there other options?

A: This is going to be on most people’s minds just now, with only a week to go before the deadline.

Once you have prepared your tax return you will have a note of any balance of tax due for last year, plus any payments on account for the current tax year.

The balance plus the first payment on account is due by Saturday, January 31.

Make sure you pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by this deadline. You’ll be charged interest and may have to pay a penalty if your payment is late.

You will also need your reference number, 10 digits on your tax return or correspondence from HMRC, followed by a K. The time you need to allow depends on how you pay. If you leave it until Friday or Saturday next week, the quickest options are:

z online or telephone banking (Faster Payments)

z CHAPS

z by debit or credit card online

z at your bank or building society

z at the Post Office

You need a paying-in slip from HMRC to pay at a bank, building society or Post Office.

Alternatively, if you are paying by Direct Debit or BACS, you will need to do so by Tuesday to be sure to allow the three working days for the payment to be processed.

Finally, if you want to post the payment, I would advise doing so as soon as possible as this can take up to five working days to be processed.

Rennie Welch LLP accept no liability on the basis of this article and detailed advice, taking into account individual circumstances, should be obtained before entering into any transaction.

Have you got a question you would like us to answer in our column? If so, email your query to thebusinessbrain@renniewelch.co.uk.