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CHAPS payment

  • 2 min read

A CHAPS payment (short for “The Clearing House Automated Payment System”) is used for same-day transactions in the UK. Back in the day, owing to the same-day guarantee, CHAPS transfers were popular for those moving large amounts of money. 

But today, in the world of Faster Payments and with companies like Wise, Revolut and more, CHAPS is not the most cost-effective or even speedy system available to use. When you send a payment by CHAPS, you have to pay up to about £35 per transfer and you’re restricted by strict cut-off times by the bank. 

Can I pay my tax bill with a CHAPS payment?

Yes! You can. If you’re fast approaching the January deadline, CHAPS can be a useful method to settle your tax bill. To pay using CHAPS, all you need is your payment reference when you pay. What’s this, you ask?

It’s your 10-digit UTR number followed by the letter “K”.

You can then use one of the HMRC accounts below to send the money to. And don’t worry if one doesn’t jump out at you. To check which one you need, just take a look at your tax bill letter from HMRC. It will give you the details on which one to pay. 


Sort code Account number Account name
08 32 10 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld
08 32 10 12001020 HMRC Shipley

Why use CHAPS?

The biggest advantage of using CHAPS payments over other cheaper methods such as Faster Payments or BACS is that there’s no limit to the amount of money you can send. The daily limit for Faster Payments is set by the institution hosting them i.e. the bank, and this can mean that if you’re paying a larger tax bill of over £10,000, you could face delays from having to split your payment.  

With CHAPS, comparatively, if you catch the cut-off time, you can send your whole bill amount the same day, which is a big selling point.

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