A Direct Debit is an instruction that you give to your bank, telling them that you authorise someone to collect money from your account.
Direct Debit is very safe: the recipient of the money can only collect sums that they’ve given you advanced notice of. If they want to change the amount or date of collection, they have to tell you about it first.
If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can use Direct Debit to pay your Self Assessment tax bill:
- log in to your HMRC Online account and set up a Direct Debit there for any single tax bill payments that you need to make before 31 January
- if you need to make a Payment on Account, set up another debit before 31 July
- you’ll need to set up these single payments each time – the amount is different.
What you need to keep in mind:
- you’ll need to use your payment reference: this is your 10-digit UTR number followed by the letter “K”
- it takes up to five working days for a Direct Debit to process the first time, and three working days next time.