Contractors warned there is ‘no escape’ from the HMRC credit card ban this Christmas

Freelancers who paid their last self-assessment tax bill using a credit card are being reminded that there is ‘no escape’ from HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) new ban on credit card payments this Christmas.

The news comes after HMRC moved to ban credit card payments on 13 January 2018 – leaving many forewarned taxpayers rushing to file their returns early in order to avoid falling foul of what critics described as a “customer-unfriendly” change to HMRC’s payment terms.

However, with the credit card ban now in full force, contractors and freelancers will have no choice but to save up the cash needed for their tax return over the Christmas period and pay the amount in full ahead of HMRC’s 31 January 2019 self-assessment deadline.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) pointed out that people who have overlooked this fact and haven’t allowed time to save shouldn’t despair, as “there are other payment options” they can use.

Such options include online/telephone banking, debit card online; direct debit; BACS, CHAPS or cheque posted to HMRC. Taxpayers can also pay at a bank or building society – but not at a post office.