‘Payments on account’ are advance payments towards your tax bill (including Class 4 National Insurance if you’re self-employed).
You have to make 2 payments on account every year unless:
- your last Self Assessment tax bill was less than £1,000
- you’ve already paid more than 80% of all the tax you owe, for example through your tax code or because your bank has already deducted interest on your savings
Each payment is half your previous year’s tax bill. Payments are due by midnight on 31 January and 31 July.
If you still have tax to pay after you’ve made your payments on account, you must make a ‘balancing payment’ by midnight on 31 January next year.
Your bill for the 2016 to 2017 tax year is £3,000. You made 2 payments on account last year of £900 each (£1,800 in total).
The total tax to pay by midnight on 31 January 2018 is £2,700. This includes:
- your ‘balancing payment’ of £1,200 for the 2016 to 2017 tax year (£3,000 minus £1,800)
- the first payment on account of £1,500 (half your 2016 to 2017 tax bill) towards your 2017 to 2018 tax bill
You have to pay your second payment on account of £1,500 by midnight on 31 July 2018.
If your tax bill for the 2017 to 2018 tax year is more than £3,000 (the total of your 2 payments on account), you’ll need to make a ‘balancing payment’ by 31 January 2019.