Accelerated payment notices

Produced by Tolley
Accelerated payment notices

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

  • Accelerated payment notices
  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Scope of the accelerated payment rules
  • Criteria for issue of an APN
  • Options open to the taxpayer on receipt of an APN
  • Right of appeal
  • Commencement
  • Penalties
  • Interest
  • More...


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 partner payment notice (PPN).

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 / PPNs issued to employers in respect of PAYE and NIC liabilities. Unless otherwise indicated, the rules for APNs described below apply equally to PPNs.


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 one or more of the following requirements has been met:

  1. the chosen arrangements are notifiable under the DOTAS rules and have been notified

  2. HMRC has given a follower notice in relation to the same matter

  3. a GAAR counteraction notice has been given in relation to the same tax advantage

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

  1. accept the APN and make the payment specified

  2. make written representations to HMRC, either against the validity of the notice or the amount specified

If the

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