Paying Value Added Tax (VAT) is a mandatory requirement for individuals, businesses, and organizations in the UK. Understanding where to pay VAT is crucial to ensuring prompt payments and avoiding complications with the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK tax authority responsible for collecting VAT. This comprehensive guide will shed light on the various methods and channels available for making VAT payments.

Pay VAT Online via the HMRC Website

  1. HMRC Online Portal:

    • Secure Platform: Access the official HMRC website and create a business tax account to gain access to the online payment portal.
    • Online Payment Options: Once logged in, navigate to the "Pay VAT" section, where you can choose from various online payment methods, including direct debit, debit or credit cards, and CHAPS payments.
  2. Direct Debit:

    • Convenient and Hassle-free: Set up a direct debit authorization, and HMRC will automatically deduct VAT payments from your designated bank account on scheduled due dates.
    • Avoid Late Payments: This method ensures timely payments, eliminating the risk of penalties for late submissions.
  3. Credit or Debit Card:

    • Instant Payments: You can make one-off VAT payments using your credit or debit card through the HMRC portal.
    • Secure Transactions: HMRC employs robust security measures to safeguard your financial information during online transactions.

Pay VAT via Bank Transfer

  1. Faster Payments (FPS):

    • Rapid Payment Processing: FPS allows you to transfer VAT payments from your business bank account to HMRC's bank account securely and swiftly.
    • Real-Time Confirmation: Upon successful payment, you'll receive immediate confirmation from HMRC.
  2. CHAPS Payment:

    • Large Payments: If your VAT liability exceeds £250,000, you can utilize the CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) to transfer funds.
    • Same-Day Settlement: Payments made via CHAPS are cleared and settled the same day they're initiated, ensuring prompt credit to HMRC.

Pay VAT by Post

  1. Cheque or Postal Order:

    • Traditional Method: You can send a cheque or postal order by post to HMRC's designated address along with a completed VAT Return form.
    • Ensure Accuracy: Write the check or postal order accurately, making it payable to "HM Revenue & Customs".
  2. VAT Cheque Payment Voucher:

    • Dedicated Payment Voucher: Use the VAT Cheque Payment Voucher, which includes the pre-printed HMRC address and relevant codes, to accompany your cheque payment.
    • Avoid Errors: This voucher simplifies the payment process and minimizes the chances of errors in routing.

Additional Considerations

  1. VAT Payment Deadlines:

    • Adhere to Deadlines: VAT payments must be made to HMRC on or before the due date specified on your VAT Return form.
    • Penalties for Late Payments: Failure to pay VAT on time can result in penalties and interest charges.
  2. Keeping Records:

    • Maintain Payment Records: Keep detailed records of all VAT payments, including the amount paid, date of payment, and payment method.
    • Evidentiary Importance: These records are vital for resolving any discrepancies or queries with HMRC.


Understanding where to pay VAT is essential for ensuring timely and accurate VAT payments to HMRC. By utilizing the various payment methods available, businesses can fulfill their obligations conveniently and avoid potential penalties. Additionally, maintaining proper records of VAT payments is crucial for ensuring compliance and resolving any potential issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I pay VAT over the phone?

    • No, HMRC does not currently offer the option to pay VAT over the phone.
  2. What happens if I miss a VAT payment deadline?

    • Missing a VAT payment deadline can result in penalties and interest charges. The specific penalties depend on the length of the delay.
  3. What is the penalty for late VAT payments?

    • The penalty for late VAT payments is calculated as a percentage of the outstanding tax due. The penalty increases the longer the payment is overdue.
  4. Can I set up a payment plan with HMRC if I can't pay my VAT bill in full?

    • Yes, you can contact HMRC to discuss setting up a payment plan if you're unable to pay your VAT bill in full.
  5. Where can I find more information about paying VAT?

    • You can find more information about paying VAT on the HMRC website or by contacting HMRC directly.

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