Accelerated payment notices

By Tolley

The following Corporation Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Accelerated payment notices
  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Scope of the accelerated payment rules
  • Penalties
  • Collection proceedings
  • What if the company subsequently loses the appeal?
  • What if the company subsequently wins the appeal?
  • Use of APNs by HMRC


In 2014, Parliament introduced rules that allow HMRC to require early payments of disputed tax and / or National Insurance contributions (NICs) in relation to certain tax avoidance cases. HMRC can now issue accelerated payment notices (APNs) to require early payment where those cases are subject to an open enquiry or appeal.

Until then, HMRC generally allowed disputed tax to be postponed under TMA 1970, s 55, pending the outcome of the enquiry or litigation. This meant that the taxpayer had, effectively, a low-interest loan from the Government until the case was settled, which could be a number of years.

The rules also reflect Parliament’s approach of using tax policy to influence the behaviour of taxpayers and advisers. Given the need to pay the tax much sooner, it is hoped that the appetite for such avoidance schemes will be reduced.

This guidance note covers the rules that apply to APNs that are issued to companies. It does not cover APNs issued to individuals, or partners and partnerships, known as partner payment notices (PPNs). The procedure for PPNs is slightly different, see section 2.16 of the HMRC guidance  and Simon’s Taxes A7.248C (subscription sensitive).


With effect from 17 July 2014, HMRC has the power to require accelerated tax payments via an accelerated payment notice (APN) where the tax arrangement producing the tax advantage is under enquiry or appeal and:

  • arises from a notifiable arrangement under the DOTAS rules, and has been given a DOTAS number
  • has been subject to a follower notice
  • a GAAR counteraction notice has been given

The company has 90 days from the date the APN was given to:

    More on Tax administration: