Detailed guide: Pension scheme administrators: how to pay tax

Updated: Guidance updated to show it won’t be possible to pay at the Post Office from 15 December 2017.

Overview

As a pension scheme administrator of a registered pension scheme you must report tax charges in an Accounting for Tax (AFT) Return using HM Revenue and Customs’s (HMRC’s) Pension Schemes Online service.

The deadline for reporting and paying the tax charges is the same.

Tax period Filing and payment deadline
1 January to 31 March 15 May
1 April to 30 June 14 August
1 July to 30 September 14 November
1 October to 31 December 14 February

How much time to allow

Make sure you pay HMRC by the deadline or you may have to pay a penalty.

The time you need to allow depends on how you pay.

Payment method Time allowance
Online or telephone banking (Faster Payments) Same or next day
CHAPS Same or next day
Government Banking Service Same or next day
At your bank or building society Same or next day
At the Post Office Same or next day
Online with a debit or credit card Same or next day
Bacs 3 working days
By cheque through the post 3 working days

If the deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, make sure your payment reaches HMRC on the last working day before (unless you’re paying by Faster Payments).

Ways to pay

Bank details for online or telephone banking, CHAPS, Bacs

You can pay by Faster Payments, CHAPS or Bacs to HMRC’s account.

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

You’ll need your 14-character reference number. You’ll find this on your online receipt when you file your pension scheme’s AFT Return on the Pension Schemes Online service.

Your payment may be delayed if you use the wrong reference number.

Payments by:

  • Faster Payments (online or telephone banking) usually reach HMRC on the same or next day, including weekends and bank holidays
  • CHAPS usually reach HMRC the same working day if you pay within your bank’s processing times
  • Bacs usually take 3 working days

Overseas payments

As the scheme administrator of a registered pension scheme you should use these details to pay from an overseas account.

Bank identifier code (BIC) / Swift code Account number (IBAN) Account name
BARCGB22 GB03 BARC 2011 4783 9776 92 HMRC Shipley

If you need to provide your bank with HMRC’s banking address it is:

Barclays Bank Plc

1 Churchill Place

London

United Kingdom

E14 5HP

If you are the manager of an overseas pension scheme you should contact HMRC before paying the overseas transfers charge.

The Government Banking Service (GBS)

Employers such as government departments and health authorities who have a GBS account can pay using the GBS online service.

If you enter HMRC’s GBS account details incorrectly there may be a delay updating your record or your payment may not reach HMRC.

As long as you make a payment by the GBS deadline it will reach HMRC on the same day.

Online with a debit or credit card

You can pay by debit or credit card.

There is a fee for credit cards.

If you’re unable to make full payment by credit or debit card you’ll have to pay a different way.

HMRC limit the number of credit and debit card payments you can make to any single tax regime within a given period of time, so that only a reasonable number of payments can be made.

They’ll decide what’s reasonable by checking payment card industry standards and guidance, and may withdraw the facility to pay by credit or debit card from any customer who tries to bypass the limit.

You’ll need your 14-character reference number. You’ll find this on your online receipt when you file your pension scheme’s AFT Return on the Pension Schemes Online service.

Your payment may be delayed if you use the wrong reference number.

HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it and not the date it reaches HMRC’s account, including on bank holidays and weekends.

At your bank or building society

You’ll need to order a payslip from HMRC to pay this way. It can take up to 10 days to arrive. Use another method if you need to pay before then.

You can order a payslip by writing to HMRC.

Pension Schemes Services

HM Revenue and Customs

BX9 1GH

Use the payslips to pay at your own bank or building society. You can pay by cash or cheque made payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your 14-character reference number. You’ll find this on your online receipt when you file your pension scheme’s AFT Return on the Pension Schemes Online service.

Your payment may be delayed if you use the wrong reference number.

HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it and not the date it reaches HMRC’s account, if you pay between Monday and Friday.

At the Post Office

You won’t be able to pay at the Post Office from 15 December 2017.

You’ll need to order a payslip from HMRC to pay this way. It can take up to 10 working days for them to arrive. Use another method if you need to pay before then.

You can pay up to £10,000 at the Post Office without being charged using:

  • cheque (if accepted)
  • cash
  • debit card

Contact your local Post Office branch to check if you can pay by cheque.

To pay at the Post Office you’ll need to:

  • take your HMRC payslip with you (or you will be charged for using this service)
  • make cheques payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’

HMRC will accept your payment on the date you make it and not the date it reaches HMRC’s account, if you pay between Monday and Friday.

By cheque through the post

You’ll need to order a payslip from HMRC to pay this way. It can take up to 10 working days for them to arrive. Use another method if you need to pay before then.

Send your payslip and a cheque made payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ followed by your 14 character reference number.

Don’t fold the payslip or cheque and do not fasten them together.

You should allow 3 working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Send your cheque to:

HM Revenue and Customs

Direct

BX5 5BD

You don’t need to include a street name, city name or PO box with this address.

If you have a reply envelope showing a different address (HM Revenue and Customs, Bradford, BD98 1YY), you can still use the envelope to post your cheque.

If you’re paying by post, you can include a letter with your payment to request a receipt from HMRC.

Source: HMRC

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