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July 31st Payment on Account Looming

For many self-employed people, July 31st marks a crucial date on the calendar. It signifies the second and final opportunity to make a payment on account towards your self-assessment tax bill for the current tax year. This looming deadline can cause anxiety, but with some proactive steps, you can navigate it calmly and efficiently.

Understanding Payments on Account

Payments on account are a system designed to streamline your tax obligations throughout the year, preventing a significant lump sum payment in January. Essentially, you pre-pay a portion of your estimated tax liability in two instalments. This system applies if your preceding year’s tax bill (excluding Class 2 National Insurance) surpassed £1,000, or if less than 80% of your income tax was deducted at source through your employer’s payroll system.

The first instalment is due on January 31st, with the second falling on July 31st. Each instalment typically represents half of your projected tax liability for the current tax year. Here’s how you can prepare for the July 31st deadline and ensure a stress-free payment process:

Preparation is Key

  1. Keep Records: It’s crucial to have all your income and expense records organised either in some sort of filing system or better still digitally to either cloud bookkeeping software or storage. This includes invoices issued to clients, receipts for business-related purchases, bank statements reflecting your income and expenditure, and any other relevant documentation.
  1. Understand Your Tax Bill: Based on your meticulously kept income and expense records, you will have calculated your tax liability for the current tax year. This will determine whether there is a payment on account due or not. If you are not sure, you can ask an accounting expert or log into your HMRC account to check.
  1. Explore Payment Options: HMRC provides various payment channels for your convenience. You can make your payment on account online, by phone, or even by post. The most efficient and time-saving option is usually to pay online through the HMRC website: Ensure you mark your payment with the correct reference number, which is usually your UTR (Unique Tax Reference Number) plus the letter “K”.
  1. Penalties for Late Payments: Missing the July 31st deadline can incur late payment penalties. To avoid any unwelcome additional charges, ensure your payment reaches HMRC by the due date.

Seeking Assistance When Needed

If the intricacies of self-assessment leave you feeling overwhelmed or unsure, there’s no need to face it alone. HMRC’s website is a valuable resource, brimming with information and guidance to assist you. The website address is Alternatively, use click the “Book a Call” button and schedule a time to discuss your unique circumstances with a professional.

Taking Control and Avoiding Summer Stress

By taking proactive measures and gathering the necessary information well in advance, you can ensure a smooth and timely payment on account by July 31st. Remember, staying organised and informed minimizes the stress associated with this deadline. Don’t let it cast a shadow over your summer!

Additional Tips for Keeping on Top of Your Taxes

  •  Review your tax return: This can provide a valuable benchmark for estimating your current year’s tax liability.
  • Set aside funds regularly: Regularly allocating a portion of your income into a designated savings account ensures you have the necessary funds readily available for your payment on account.
  • Keep digital copies of your records: Scanning and storing your receipts and invoices electronically simplifies record-keeping and retrieval.
  • Consider using accounting software: Accounting software can automate many aspects of record-keeping and tax calculations, saving you valuable time and effort.


By following these tips and taking control of your self-assessment obligations, you can ensure a stress-free July 31st and a financially secure future.