HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that, as of 13 January 2018, employers will no longer be able to use personal credit cards to settle outstanding PAYE late payment penalties, PAYE settlement agreements or Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) late filing penalties.
However, from that date HMRC will accept full payment by company credit card or debit card but not part payment, so any employers who are unable to make full payment by card will have to find another way to pay, such as telephone banking, CHAPS or Bacs. Employers should note that HMRC will charge a fee for payment by credit card.
All payments must include the 14 or 15-character payment reference that begins with X and is on the payslip. If an employer does not have a payslip for the worker, they should still have a payment reference from HMRC, which they must include in the payment. However, it is important to get this right, as an incorrect reference could delay it.
They will also need to factor in the time it takes for the money to get to HMRC when they pay. The slowest way is via direct debit, which takes five working days to arrive. However, the agency has said it will accept payment on the date made, not the date it reaches them, as long as the payment was made between Monday to Friday.
There is also the cheque in the post method. Employers paying this way should allow three working days for the payment to reach HMRC and must ensure that the cheque is not folded and that any documents are not fastened together.
Employers who currently pay at the Post Office should note that this facility will be withdrawn on 15 December 2017.