Accelerated payment notices

By Tolley

The following Employment 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 taxpayer subsequently loses the appeal?
  • What if the taxpayer subsequently wins the appeal?
  • Use of APNs by HMRC


In 2014, Parliament introduced rules which allow HMRC to require early payments of disputed tax and / or national insurance contributions (NIC) 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. Where the disputed liability arises from the activities of a partnership, the notice issued by HMRC requiring early payment is the accelerated partner payment notice (APPN).

Before the introduction of these rules, 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 the Government’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 focuses on the rules which apply to APNs / APPNs issued to employers in respect of PAYE and NIC liabilities. Unless otherwise indicated, the rules for APNs described below apply equally to APPNs.


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
  • been subject to a follower notice (see below)
  • a GAAR counteraction notice has been given

The taxpayer has 90 days from the date the

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