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Direct Debit

A Direct Debit (DD) is an instruction that you give to your bank. It tells them that you authorise someone to collect money from your account.

Unlike standing orders, they’re used by businesses to set up regular payments. You wouldn’t, for instance, use a Direct Debit to pay your friend your share of rental bills every month. You would use it to pay the utility companies directly. 

If a company wishes to change the amount or date of payment collection, they have to tell you about it in advance.

Can UK taxpayers use Direct Debit to pay a Self Assessment tax bill?

Yes, you can. Here’s how:

  • Log in to your HMRC Online account and set up a DD for any single tax bill payments that you need to make before 31st January
  • If you need to make a Payment on Account, you can set up another debit before 31st July
  • You’ll need to set up these single payments (the amount will be different) every time you need to pay

Things 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

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