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Demystifying Payments on Account: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

You might have received a statement from HMRC in the past few weeks reminding you that your payment on account is due by 31st July. I'm here to shed light on what a payment on account is so you can navigate this aspect of tax compliance. With the July deadline approaching, it's important to understand what payments on account entail and who they apply to.

What are payments on account? When you're self-employed, HMRC may require you to make payments on account towards your future tax bill. These payments act as an advance payment for your tax liability and help you spread the cost over the year. They are calculated based on your previous year's tax bill. Who needs to make payments on account? If your tax bill exceeds £1,000 and less than 80% of your tax liability is covered through tax deductions at source (e.g., through PAYE), you're likely to be required to make payments on account. The first time you're required to make a payment on account can come as a shock as you effectively need to pay 150% of your tax bill in one go so it's essential to understand your individual tax situation and consult with a professional bookkeeper to ensure compliance. At Athena Accounting and Bookkeeping Services we always recommend that our clients file their tax returns as early as possible. Filing your tax return early offers several advantages:

  • It provides a clear picture of your tax liability, allowing you to plan and budget effectively.

  • Early filing also minimises the risk of penalties for late submission and gives you peace of mind, knowing that your tax obligations are taken care of.

If you'd like to speak to us about how we can support you with any aspect of bookkeeping and self assessment, you can contact us via our social media channels or at

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