Yes, the rules governing the payment of tax are very strict. If you have a tax bill for the 2004/05 tax year, then this must be paid in full by 31 January 2006. As from the 1 February 2006 you will be charged interest on any unpaid taxes. In addition to the daily interest charges a further 5% surcharge will be made on the 28 February 2006.
For example, your tax bill for the 2004/05 tax year is £2000; this should be paid on or before the 31 January 2006. Assuming that this is not paid, in addition to any daily interest charges there would be a surcharge of £100 (£2000 x 5%). This will be levied on the 28 February 2006.
Interest will continue to be charged until the tax is paid.
Further surcharges amounting to 5% of the tax outstanding will then be charged at 6-wwmonthly intervals.
If you do have difficulty in paying your tax bill please contact the Inland Revenue and keep them informed. It may be possible to come to an arrangement to pay the tax in instalments, although interest will still be charged, and the terms may be harsh.
Please do not adopt the ostrich approach; simply burying your head in the sand will only cause further problems. The Inland Revenue are very quick to take legal steps to recover any tax outstanding, including the use of bailiffs.
If in doubt contact the tax office.
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