HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take ‘enforcement action’ to get the money if you do not pay your tax bill.
You may be able to avoid enforcement action if you contact HMRC, for example if you’ve missed a payment or cannot pay on time.
There are a number of enforcement actions HMRC can take to get the tax you owe. They can:
- collect what you owe through your earnings or pension
- ask debt collection agencies to collect the money
- take things you own and sell them (if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland)
- take money directly from your bank account or building society (if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland)
- take you to court
- make you bankrupt or close down your business
If you do not pay your tax on time, you’ll probably have to pay interest on the outstanding amount. You may also have to pay a penalty or surcharge.
How to avoid enforcement action
Contact HMRC as soon as you can - you may be able to either:
- get more time to pay
- pay in instalments
You must contact HMRC if you disagree with a tax decision, for example the amount of tax you’re being asked to pay.
- Through your earnings or pension
- Debt collection agencies
- Taking control of goods (distraint)
- From your bank or building society account
- Court action
For further information: