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How Should You Respond To An Accelerated Payment Notification (APN) From HMRC?

Posted by Chris Knott on 20-Sep-2017 15:30:00

How Should You Respond To An Accelerated Payment Notification (APN) From HMRC.jpg

If you have received an Accelerated Payment Notification, also known as an Advanced Payment Notice or APN from HMRC, there can be serious implications for your cash flow. You don’t have much time to respond and make payment, so we recommend you take action as soon as possible. HMRC will issue an advisory letter several weeks before sending you an APN, so this is the time to start seeking advice and taking the appropriate action.

Receiving An APN

Individual APNs are issued for membership of each Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) defined as a tax avoidance scheme under the General Anti-Abuse Rule or the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regulations. Demands relate to ‘unpaid’ income tax or NICs relating to payments made from each scheme, with separate APNs for tax and National Insurance payments. An APN is issued each year for each scheme and type of payment.

You may therefore receive more than one APN. For instance, if you were part of an EBT that offered both NIC and income tax benefits for three years, you could receive up to six APNs. You may also not receive all your APNs in one go, as the demands are currently being issued on a scheme by scheme basis. To check whether you are likely to receive an APN for a given scheme, please refer to the HMRC register of tax avoidance schemes (updated every quarter).

Amounts owed under an APN are in addition to any other outstanding tax liability.

Responding To An APN

You will have 90 days from the date of the APN to make full payment. Failure to do so may incur late payment charges and potential legal action – up to and including a winding up petition if necessary. Longer payment terms and payment plans can be discussed with HMRC on a case-by-case basis. Get in touch with us as soon as you receive your pre-APN notice letter, or contact an HMRC representative directly.

Appealing An APN

If you disagree with the Accelerated Payment Notice, you can’t technically appeal the validity of the demand, but you can make representation to HMRC under some circumstances. For example:

  • If you feel the conditions for receiving an APN have not been met. (A considerable number of APN’s are withdrawn after issue due to legal technicalities.)
  • If you believe the amount demanded is incorrect.

A representation must be made in writing to HMRC within the 90 day payment period. Your case will be reviewed and a decision sent to you in writing. This decision cannot be appealed.

Speak In Confidence To One Of Our Insolvency Advisors

Our team of qualified insolvency practitioners are experienced in helping businesses of all sizes manage a smooth, favourable insolvency. Our detailed knowledge of tax law and HMRC debt management allow us to liaise with HMRC and other creditors on your behalf, putting agreements in place that can spread payments and in some cases reduce your liability. Your first consultation is free, so please get in touch by email on, or by calling our enquiries line on 0333 014 3454. We have nine offices around the country, so if you wanted to talk to a representative in person, please click here to locate and get in touch with your local office.

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