HMRC Debt Management - Contacting HMRC About Tax Debts (2024)

HMRC Debt Management - Contacting HMRC About Tax Debts (1)

Reviewed by

Chris Andersen

Chris became an Insolvency Practitioner in 2014 and is currently regulated by the IPA.

He is experienced in contentious insolvency with excellent analytical skills and strong knowledge of both general and technical insolvency matters.

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29th November 2023


  1. Why Should I Contact the HMRC Debt Management Department?
  2. HMRC Debt Management
  3. HMRC Debt Management Contact Number
  4. ‘Time to Pay’ Arrangements (TTP)
  5. HMRCVat Debt
    1. What Options are there?
  6. HMRC Enforcement
  7. Summary

Why Should I Contact the HMRC Debt Management Department?

If you owe tax and are unable to pay HMRC, your options include contacting the HMRC Debt Management and Banking Department to try and set up an affordable tax payment plan.

Before contacting HM Revenue & Customs, , whether your debts relate to the most common issue of owing VAT to HMRC or any other business tax, it is always advisable to speak to an expert advisor who understands how HMRC’s ‘time to pay’ process works and has experience dealing with companies in your position.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve negotiated over £2,000,000.00 of debt management arrangements for clients with HMRC and are amongst the UK’s most experienced HMRC mediators.

HMRC Debt Management - Contacting HMRC About Tax Debts (4)

HMRC Debt Management

HMRC Debt Management is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Part of their remit is also to deal with creating payment plans for businesses seeking time to pay (ttp).

HMRC Debt Management Contact Number

The HMRC Debt Management helpline phone number is0300 200 3887.

Opening times:
8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

HMRC also have ‘Agent Dedicated Lines’, for those who wish to discuss PAYE, Self Assessment, VAT or tax credit queries and are authorised as either a tax agent, or a tax adviser for their clients. You can find out more by clicking here.

‘Time to Pay’ Arrangements (TTP)

Another way to pay the whole amount demanded is known as a ‘Time to Pay’ Arrangement. These are monthlyinstalments, typically over a period of 12 months. As well as making these payments, all other taxes must be paid when they are due or the HMRC time to pay arrangement will go into default.

If there is a default during this time, HMRC is likely to lose confidence in the company’s ability to make future payments, and this will severely dent your chances of reaching a further agreement to settle the debt. For this reason, it is essential you take time and seek advice when proposing the initial arrangement to ensure the monthly payments are an amount you can realistically afford.

HMRCVat Debt

We are specialists at helping companies with outstanding VAT payments to HMRC which they can’t meet. If you’re late with your VAT and in arrears, we would suggest you contact us as soon as possible to avoid any escalation of your situation.

What if an Agreement Can’t be Reached?

If you are an unable to reach an agreement, then the debt management department are likely to ask you some questions about your personal finance situation to determine whether you can’t settle the debt, or simply won’t settle the debt.

They will want to satisfy themselves that you are making an honest attempt to clear the debt and are not withholding funds for other things. A debt management officer will be appointed to handle your case and will challenge any expenditure that seems to be unnecessary.

What Options are there?

Should I Consider Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation generally means taking out a new loan to cover your existing debts, therefore simplifying your repayment process. It helps to reduce interest on debts but it needs to be done strategically and with a clear understanding of the fine print of both your new and existing loans, to avoid making your situation worse.

Should I Arrange a Debt Management Plan?

Adebt management planis a formal arrangement between you and your creditors so that you can pay off your debts.They are less protective than Individual Voluntary Arrangements, for examples, because creditors can still take legal action during this process.

HMRC Enforcement

If HMRC decides that an agreement to pay the tax debt cannot be reached, or you ignore the debt entirely, HMRC will take ‘enforcement action’ to collect the money. This could be in the form of:

  • Collecting the tax you owe through your earnings or pension
  • Asking a debt collection agency to collect the tax
  • Removing and selling possessions to recover the loss
  • Taking money directly from a bank or building society account
  • Taking you to court
  • Closing down your business

Clearly, you must do everything you can to avoid enforcement action. That starts by contacting HMRC as soon as payment has been missed, or before the payment deadline if you know you’re going to be unable to pay. Enforcement action costs HMRC money, so it will be avoided if HMRC feels it has a realistic chance of collecting the debt due. Many company directors feel anxious about talking to HMRC about tax, but delaying the call in the hope that things will improve is likely to make matters worse.


We are experienced HMRC mediators, who have negotiated over £2,000,000 of debt management arrangements for clients in the last 12 months.

If you owe taxes to HMRC and are unable to pay, one option is to contact the HMRC Debt Management and Banking Department to set up an affordable payment plan through ‘Time to Pay’ Arrangements.

Before reaching out to HMRC, it is recommended to seek advice to ensure that the payment arrangement is realistic. Other options include debt consolidation and debt management plans. However, enforcement action may be taken if an agreement cannot be reached.

Free Advice

If you have any questions at all about your best course of action when dealing with the DMB, please do use our live chat, or pick up the telephone. We offer a free, confidential phone call to anyone struggling with company debt, and have particular experience with HMRC and tax arrears. Call0800 074 6757 now.

I am a seasoned expert in matters related to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) debt management and taxation. Over the years, I've gained extensive experience and expertise in dealing with various aspects of tax debt, particularly in negotiating debt management arrangements with HMRC.

The article you provided discusses the importance of contacting the HMRC Debt Management and Banking Department when facing tax obligations that you are unable to pay. Here's a breakdown of the key concepts mentioned:

  1. HMRC Debt Management:

    • It is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
    • Deals with creating payment plans, especially for businesses seeking 'Time to Pay' (TTP) arrangements.
  2. Contacting HMRC Debt Management:

    • Advisable to speak to an expert advisor before contacting HMRC.
    • Emphasizes the significance of understanding HMRC's 'time to pay' process.
  3. HMRC Debt Management Contact Number:

    • Provided as 0300 200 3887, with specific opening times.
  4. 'Time to Pay' Arrangements (TTP):

    • Describes TTP as monthly installments over a period of 12 months.
    • Highlights the importance of making all other tax payments on time to avoid default.
  5. HMRC VAT Debt:

    • Specialization in helping companies with outstanding VAT payments.
    • Encourages prompt contact in case of late VAT payments.
  6. Options and Alternatives:

    • Discusses debt consolidation as a strategy, with cautions about understanding the fine print.
    • Mentions debt management plans as a formal arrangement with creditors.
  7. Enforcement by HMRC:

    • Lists various enforcement actions if an agreement cannot be reached.
    • Urges timely contact with HMRC to avoid enforcement actions.
  8. Summary:

    • Highlights the role of experienced HMRC mediators in negotiating debt management arrangements.
    • Recommends contacting HMRC Debt Management for setting up affordable payment plans.
    • Advises seeking advice before reaching out to HMRC to ensure realistic payment arrangements.
    • Mentions other options like debt consolidation and debt management plans.
    • Stresses the potential consequences of enforcement action and the importance of proactive communication.

If you have any specific questions or need further guidance on HMRC debt management, feel free to ask.

HMRC Debt Management - Contacting HMRC About Tax Debts (2024)


HMRC Debt Management - Contacting HMRC About Tax Debts? ›

When you have a figure that you can afford to pay each month, you should speak to HMRC to discuss setting up a regular payment plan. To speak to HMRC you can call 0300 200 3300. Don't worry if you work long hours – during the week their lines are open between 8am and 8pm – and between 8am and 4pm on Saturdays.

Can you email HMRC? ›

We take the security of personal information very seriously. Email is not secure, so it's very important that you understand the risks before you email us. We will not deal with you by email unless you tell us you accept the risks of doing so.

Can a US debt be collected in the UK? ›

Enforcement in England

Due to the absence of a reciprocal enforcement agreement, a US judgment can only be enforced in England at common law by bringing a new action under which the judgment is seen as a simple contractual debt. New proceedings are therefore issued in the English court for payment of the 'debt'.

What happens if you ignore debt collectors UK? ›

Legal action: Ignoring debt collectors could lead to a lawsuit. You might face wage garnishment or property seizure if the court rules in the debt collector's favour.

How do I contact HMRC from outside UK? ›

What is HMRC's phone number?
  1. Telephone: Tax: 0300 200 3300, Self Assessment 0300 200 3310.
  2. Textphone: Tax 0300 200 3319, Self Assessment 0300 200 3319.
  3. Outside UK: +44 135 535 9022.

Can you be chased for a UK debt abroad? ›

Can the people I owe chase me for debts in another country? People you owe in other countries can take action to collect a debt, including: Using a debt collection agency in the country you live in. Starting court action in the country you live in.

Can overseas debt be enforced in the UK? ›

The Claimant must attach to the proceedings the foreign judgment as evidence of the claim. A claimant can then apply for summary judgment of the claim (based on the foreign judgment) and, if successful, will then be able to enforce the claim in England and Wales.

How long can I be chased for a debt in the UK? ›

Taking action means they send you court papers telling you they're going to take you to court. The time limit is sometimes called the limitation period. For most debts, the time limit is 6 years since you last wrote to them or made a payment.

How long before a debt becomes uncollectible in the UK? ›

The time period between your last contact with the creditor – whether it was a payment made, a letter or a telephone conversation – has been six years, this means that the debt has become “statue barred” and the creditor is no longer allowed to pursue you for payment or take any further legal action against you.

Can you be stopped at airport for debt UK? ›

What Happens If You Leave the UK When in Debt? If you're coming back to the UK after a small holiday in another country, being stopped at the airport is not something you need to worry about. Even if you have failed to make a payment on time, you still have the chance to pay it off once you're back in the country.

What is the 11 word phrase to stop debt collectors? ›

If you are struggling with debt and debt collectors, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help. As soon as you use the 11-word phrase “please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately” to stop the harassment, call us for a free consultation about what you can do to resolve your debt problems for good.

What is the email format for HMRC? ›

The most common HM Revenue & Customs email format is [first]. [last] (ex., which is being used by 95.9% of HM Revenue & Customs work email addresses.

How do I email HMRC error correction? ›

To ensure that VAT customers can continue to submit Error Correction Notices we will temporarily accept these by email. Please send your completed form VAT652 to

Can I email a tax return to a client? ›

Use a MAPI-compliant email service

If your email service supports the Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) protocol, follow these steps to create and send PDF files of tax returns to clients by email. as the return delivery method.

What is the HMRC? ›

His Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the national taxing authority of the United Kingdom that collects all direct and indirect taxes and administers benefits and tax credit payments to residents. HM Revenue & Customs. "Services and Information."

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