End of personal credit card payments to HMRC

From January, individual taxpayers will not be able to use personal credit cards to settle tax bills with HMRC as a result of EU rules on recharging credit card fees

From 13 January 2018 HMRC will not accept any personal credit card payments so taxpayers will have to make payments via direct debit, debit cards, Faster Payment, Bacs or CHAPS.

Corporate, business and commercial cards are not affected by the new legislation.

The EU Payment Services Directive 2 comes into effect on 13 January 2018. This new legislation removes the ability for merchants including HMRC to charge back fees for payments made by personal debit and credit cards to taxpayers.

This change will not affect debit cards, only personal credit card payments.

As a public funded body, HMRC is unable to absorb the cost of personal credit card fees as this would ultimately mean charging the fees back to affected taxpayers through the public purse.

Any payments via personal credit card received after 12 January 2018 will be rejected unless the payment relates to a payment collected by Border Force at the UK border.

Personal credit card payments will still be accepted at the UK border for border-related transactions. HMRC states that this ‘exemption has been agreed due to the very small number of customers who will be unable to make alternative arrangements in the environment where they are making payment’.

HMRC Guidance, Customs Information Paper 29 (2017): withdrawal of payment by personal credit card

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I lot of my clients are small sole traders- many of whom live on a knife edge cash wise. A sudden unexpected bill on a van or customer late payment can cause major issues. The loss of the credit card facility to pay tax will be a very significant issue for many of these. However hard they save for the tax there are times when they need to dip into the pot and in these instances the credit card always helped them get by.

The one man band hard working builder/contractor with a young family to support and rent to pay is going to find the loss of this option a potentially major concern which I suspect may hit HMRC cash flow considerably in Jan 2018.