How do I pay my income tax self-assessment / VAT / PAYE / Corporation Tax to HMRC?

The easiest way to pay is often via your own online banking, and with some taxes you can even set up a direct debit so that the payment is taken automatically. That way you do not pay any interest and penalties if you forget to pay by the due date!

It is imperative that the correct reference is used when making a payment to HMRC otherwise the payment will not be credited to your account.

If you pay your income tax with your VAT reference then the credit will go to your VAT account, or even worse to someone else’s account if the wrong reference is used entirely! We have seen this happen.

What reference should I use?

The table below shows which reference you should use when making a payment.

Self-assessment10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) followed by a “K”.
Value Added Tax (VAT)9-digit VAT registration number without spaces.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE)13-character accounts office reference number. *
Corporation Tax17-character reference number for the accounting period you are paying. **

* For PAYE you need to add extra numbers to your 13-character accounts office reference number each time you make:

  • an early payment (before the 6th of the tax month or quarter the payment is due)
  • a late payment (on or after the 5th of the tax month after the payment was due)

Details of the extra numbers you need to add can be found in the links below.

** For Corporation Tax the reference changes by 1 digit each year.

Where do I find my reference numbers?

The table below shows where you can find your reference numbers to use for the payment.

TaxWhere to find your reference
Self-assessmentIn your HMRC online account.On your paying-in slip, if you get paper statements.
Value Added Tax (VAT)In your VAT online account.On your VAT registration certificate.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE)In your HMRC online account.On the letter HMRC sent you when you registered as an employer (or sent to your accountant or tax adviser if they registered on your behalf).
In the front of your payment booklet if you have one.
Corporation TaxOn your ‘notice to deliver your tax return’ or on any reminders from HMRC.
In your company’s HMRC online account – choose ‘view Corporation Tax statement’, ‘accounting periods’, then select the correct period.

How do I actually pay HMRC?

There are too many ways to pay each of the taxes listed to include them all here, so instead here is a link to the HMRC webpage which lists all the available methods and bank account numbers you need. Some payments can be made by clicking on the pay now link on the webpage and the final link will give you help if you cannot pay in full and on time.

Self-assessment –

Value Added Tax –

Pay As You Earn –

Corporation Tax –

If you cannot pay your tax bill on time –

If you are having problems making a payment, or you have made a payment with the wrong reference or to the wrong account, please contact us for individual assistance.