Dealing with your priority debts

Tax debts

Extra advice:

what if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed, your tax affairs could be quite complicated and you may need professional tax advice. If you can't afford this because you are on a low income, you could contact TaxAid.  Check the TaxAid website for details of how to get advice. ​​

If you have arrears with income tax, National Insurance or Value Added Tax (VAT), you need to make an arrangement to pay as soon as possible. You may need to treat tax as a priority debt, as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have various ways to make you pay. These include making deductions from your wages, freezing your bank accounts, trying to take goods from outside or inside your home, or bankruptcy. HMRC may start to enforce your debt by using a summary warrant procedure. This is quicker than using the sheriff court to get a decree.

Summary warrants and priority debts

You may not need to prioritise any tax debt if the types of action that HMRC can take do not have serious consequences for you.

If you are still trading as a small business, you need to get advice from Business Debtline about dealing with your business debts.

See our fact sheet:

Business debts.