payment on account money

What Is A Payment On Account?

What Is A Payment On Account? Understanding the UK Tax System

A common source of confusion in the world of taxes, especially for those new to self-employment in the UK, is the ‘Payment on Account‘ system. With this post, we aim to demystify this concept for you in simple and easy-to-understand terms.

What Is A Payment On Account?

A ‘Payment on Account‘ is a tax payment made twice a year by self-employed people in the UK to spread the cost of the year’s tax. It’s a method used by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions if you’re self-employed.

Why Do We Have Payments On Account?

These payments are essentially a way for the tax system to keep up with our fast-paced, modern world. Instead of waiting for the end of the tax year to pay all your tax in one go, Payments on Account split the bill into two smaller, more manageable amounts. This system helps prevent taxpayers from falling into significant tax debt.

When Are Payments On Account Made?

Payments on Account are made twice a year – on 31st January and 31st July. The first payment includes any unpaid tax from the previous tax year. The second payment acts as a ‘payment on account’ towards your next tax bill.

How Are Payments On Account Calculated?

Each Payment on Account is calculated as 50% of your previous tax year’s Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance bill. These payments include a projection of your next year’s earnings, so they assume that you will earn a similar amount to what you did in the previous year. If your income significantly changes from one year to another, you can request to reduce your Payments on Account.

What About The July 31st Payment On Account?

The second Payment on Account, due by 31st July, is exactly the same as the first one paid in January. The total of your two Payments on Account is then deducted from your final tax bill for the next tax year. If your Payments on Account total more than your final tax bill, HMRC will repay the difference.

A Real-World Example of Payment on Account

Let’s say you’re a self-employed graphic designer, and your tax bill for the 2022/23 tax year came to £10,000. This would be due on 31st January 2024. However, in addition to this, you would also have to make your first Payment on Account towards the 2023/24 tax year. This would be 50% of your last tax bill, so £5,000.

Therefore, on 31st January 2024, you would actually pay £15,000 in total (£10,000 for tax year 2022/23 and £5,000 as your first Payment on Account for tax year 2023/24).

The second Payment on Account for the 2023/24 tax year (another £5,000) would then be due by 31st July 2024.

When you complete your 2023/24 tax return, if you find out that your actual bill for that year is £11,000, you’ve already paid £10,000 through your Payments on Account. This means you only need to pay the additional £1,000 by 31st January 2025. But remember, on this same date, you’ll also need to make your first Payment on Account for the 2024/25 tax year, which would be £5,500 (50% of the £11,000 bill for the 2023/24 tax year).

This example demonstrates how the Payment on Account system works in a realistic scenario. It ensures that your tax payments are spread throughout the year, making it easier to manage your cash flow as a self-employed individual.

Key Takeaways

Navigating the UK tax system can be challenging, but understanding the Payment on Account system can make your tax life easier. Remember these key points:

  1. Payments on Account spread the cost of the year’s tax into two payments.
  2. Payments are due on 31st January and 31st July.
  3. Each payment is calculated as 50% of your previous year’s tax bill.
  4. If your income fluctuates significantly, you can request to adjust your Payments on Account.
Key take aways

In conclusion, a Payment on Account is a proactive method implemented by the UK tax system to ensure that self-employed individuals can manage their tax bills more effectively.

As always, if you’re uncertain about any aspect of your tax situation, it is highly advisable to consult with a tax professional. Happy tax planning!


How do I stay compliant with HMRC?

Your Guide to Navigating UK Tax Regulations

If you’re a business owner or a self-employed individual, one question that may often cross your mind is, “how do I stay compliant with HMRC?” As one of the leading accountancy practices in the UK, 1 Accounts Online Ltd is here to guide you through the essentials of HMRC compliance.

Understanding HMRC Compliance

Staying compliant with HMRC involves meeting the tax obligations as per UK laws. This includes accurate reporting of your income and expenses, prompt tax payments, and maintaining detailed records. Below, we outline some key steps to ensure you meet these requirements and stay on the right side of HMRC.

1. Accurate Record Keeping

Keeping clear and accurate records of all your financial transactions is the first step towards HMRC compliance. This includes details of sales and income, business expenses, VAT records, PAYE records if you have employees, and records of your personal income. HMRC can ask to see your records up to six years back, so it’s crucial to maintain these records over time.

2. Timely Tax Returns and Payments

All businesses need to file their tax returns annually with HMRC. The key is to file these returns accurately and on time, usually by 31st January following the end of the tax year. The same applies to your tax payments – paying your tax bill late can lead to penalties.

3. VAT Compliance

If your business’ VAT taxable turnover is more than £85,000, you must register for VAT. Once registered, you’ll need to charge the correct amount of VAT, pay any VAT due to HMRC, submit VAT Returns, and keep VAT records and a VAT account.

4. Understand the Employment Laws

If you employ people, you must operate PAYE as part of your payroll. This involves deducting income tax and National Insurance contributions from your employees’ salaries and paying these to HMRC.

5. Seek Professional Advice

Tax laws can be complex and often change. Getting professional advice can be invaluable. An accountant can help you understand your tax obligations, plan for your tax bill, and ensure you’re claiming all the tax reliefs available to you.

Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

At 1 Accounts Online Ltd, we specialise in helping businesses of all sizes navigate the complexities of HMRC compliance. Our experienced team stays up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations, ensuring that your business remains compliant and avoids costly penalties.

So, if you’re wondering, “how do I stay compliant with HMRC?”, remember that compliance is all about accurate record-keeping, timely tax returns and payments, understanding VAT and employment laws, and seeking professional advice. And we at 1 Accounts Online Ltd are always here to help you along the way.

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How Do I Manage the Finances for My Small Business?

A Guide to Successful Financial Management

If you’re a small business owner asking, “how do I manage the finances for my small business?”, you’ve landed in the right place. 1 Accounts Online Ltd, a leading UK-based accountancy practice, provides practical advice to guide you through the maze of small business financial management.

How Do I Manage the Finances for My Small Business?

Effective financial management is the lifeblood of any successful business. Here are some key steps to consider for managing your small business finances.

1. Maintain Accurate Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping involves recording all your business transactions, including income and expenses. Regular and accurate bookkeeping is vital as it provides a clear picture of your financial health, helps in making informed decisions, and is crucial for tax purposes.

2. Set a Budget

A budget is an estimate of your income and expenses over a period. It helps control overspending, plan for the future, and ensures you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses. Regularly compare your actual spending against your budget and adjust as necessary.

3. Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate

Mixing personal and business finances can lead to confusion and legal issues. To avoid this, open separate bank accounts and get a business credit card. This will also simplify bookkeeping and tax filings.

4. Stay on Top of Invoicing

Invoice promptly and follow up on late payments. Cash flow is vital for small businesses, and managing receivables effectively is crucial to maintaining a healthy cash flow.

5. Plan for Taxes

Set aside a portion of your earnings for taxes to avoid a last-minute scramble. Consider engaging an accountant to understand your tax obligations better and take advantage of any possible deductions.

6. Regular Financial Review

Regular financial reviews allow you to spot trends, both positive and negative, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Monitor key financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

7. Consult a Professional

Managing finances can be complex and time-consuming. An accountant can help manage your finances, ensuring accuracy and compliance with legal requirements, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business.

Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

At 1 Accounts Online Ltd, we understand the intricacies of small business financial management. Our experienced accountants offer a range of services, including bookkeeping, tax planning, and strategic financial advice, tailored to your specific needs.

In conclusion, if you’re still wondering, “how do I manage the finances for my small business?”, start by following the steps outlined above. However, engaging a professional accountant can simplify the process and offer valuable insights, ultimately contributing to your business’s financial success.

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Do I Need An Accountant?

Do I Need an Accountant? Unravelling the Importance of Accounting for Your Business

The question “Do I need an accountant?” is a common one among business owners, especially for start-ups and small businesses. As a leading UK-based accountancy practice, 1 Accounts Online Ltd aims to answer this question and elucidate why an accountant is crucial for your business success.

Do I Need an Accountant?

While many may think that an accountant’s role is solely to file taxes and maintain financial records, they do much more than that. They can be your trusted advisor, assisting in vital business decisions, financial planning, and helping ensure your business remains compliant with regulatory standards.

Navigating Through Complex Tax Matters

One of the main reasons businesses require an accountant is for handling complex tax matters. UK tax law can be intricate and continually evolving, and having an accountant ensures you are not missing out on any tax benefits or unintentionally violating any rules, saving you from costly penalties.

Financial Planning and Management

Accountants play a significant role in financial planning and management. They help in budgeting, forecasting revenue and expenses, and managing cash flow, enabling businesses to make sound financial decisions. If you’re wondering, “Do I need an accountant?”, consider the benefits of having a professional analyse your financial data and provide actionable insights.


Running a business involves numerous tasks, and managing finances can be time-consuming. An accountant takes over the financial aspect of your business, from bookkeeping to payroll, allowing you to focus more on business growth.

Guidance during Business Growth and Change

As your business grows or undergoes changes, an accountant can provide valuable guidance. Whether you plan to expand, take on more employees, or change your business structure, your accountant can help you understand the financial implications and ensure a smooth transition.

Ensuring Compliance

Accountants stay up-to-date with the latest accounting standards and regulations, ensuring your business remains compliant. They can assist in preparing and submitting necessary documents to regulatory bodies, including Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

At 1 Accounts Online Ltd, our team of professional accountants offers an array of services tailored to meet your business needs. Our services extend beyond just maintaining your financial records. We provide strategic financial advice, help manage your taxes, ensure regulatory compliance, and support your business as it grows.

In conclusion, if you find yourself asking, “Do I need an accountant?” the answer is yes. An accountant is a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes. They not only ensure accurate financial management and regulatory compliance but also serve as strategic advisors for business growth.

what is an accountant

What is an Accountant?

What is an Accountant? Unveiling the Essential Role in Your Business

If you’ve ever wondered, “what is an accountant?” then you’re in the right place. As a premier UK-based accountancy practice, 1 Accounts Online Ltd is here to demystify the role of an accountant and explain why they are indispensable for your business.

What is an Accountant?

At the most basic level, an accountant is a trained professional who maintains and audits business accounts. But, in reality, the role encompasses much more than that. They provide a vast array of financial services, ranging from record keeping and financial forecasting to strategic planning, compliance, and consulting on all financial aspects of a business.

The Versatility of an Accountant

Accountants wear many hats, and their roles often extend beyond just number-crunching. They are financial advisors, tax experts, and strategic consultants. They can work within a business, for an accountancy firm like 1 Accounts Online Ltd, or independently.

Financial Management & Reporting

An accountant takes charge of managing a company’s financial data. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants perform audits and prepare financial reporting records, such as balance sheets, income statements, and tax returns. These records provide a clear financial image of the business, guiding strategic decisions.

Regulatory Compliance & Tax Expertise

One crucial role an accountant plays is ensuring businesses comply with the latest laws and regulations. In the UK, this includes abiding by the Companies Act and adhering to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) requirements. With their tax expertise, accountants save businesses from potential penalties and help them take advantage of relevant tax deductions and credits.

Business Strategy & Consultation

Beyond compliance and day-to-day management, accountants play a vital role in shaping the strategic direction of a business. Through financial analysis and forecasting, they help identify growth opportunities and areas for improvement.

Accountants and Small Businesses

Many small business owners may wonder if they need an accountant. The answer is a resounding yes. Accountants offer invaluable expertise that can help a small business thrive. They can guide you through the complexities of tax regulations, provide advice on financial management, and offer insights to help your business grow.

Why Choose 1 Accounts Online Ltd?

As a UK-based accountancy practice, 1 Accounts Online Ltd offers a comprehensive range of accounting services. Our team of qualified accountants are committed to helping your business succeed. We navigate the complexities of accounting so you can focus on what you do best – running your business.

In conclusion, an accountant is more than just a numbers guru; they are an essential partner in your business. They not only help you meet regulatory requirements but also play a critical role in your business’s strategic direction. If you’ve been asking, “what is an accountant?” now you know. And if you need a dedicated, professional accountant, consider 1 Accounts Online Ltd. We’re here to help your business thrive.

What is business compliance?

Unraveling the Complexity: UK Business Compliance in Accountancy

In today’s swiftly shifting regulatory environment, understanding UK business compliance in the realm of accountancy has never been more vital. With businesses continually subject to various rules and regulations, understanding compliance is key to maintaining a healthy, thriving, and legally compliant business. Let’s take a deeper look at what this entails and why it is so important.

What is Business Compliance?

In the simplest terms, it refers to the process of ensuring a business adheres to all the necessary laws, regulations, and standards relevant to its operations. This extends across multiple levels – from local to national, and sometimes even international.

In the world of accountancy, compliance includes adhering to the various reporting and accounting standards set forth by the relevant governing bodies, tax obligations, auditing procedures, and financial management. This process is mandatory and neglecting it can lead to significant consequences, including hefty fines and penalties, damage to the business’s reputation, or in severe cases, even closure of the business.

Key Areas in Accountancy

  1. Tax Compliance: This is one of the most critical aspects of. It involves understanding and adhering to the tax laws as prescribed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This includes paying corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, and national insurance contributions, as well as proper reporting and record-keeping.
  2. Financial Reporting: Businesses are required to adhere to the Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) in the UK. These standards outline how businesses should prepare and present their financial statements, ensuring transparency and uniformity. Small and micro businesses may adhere to FRS 105, while medium and large companies will typically follow FRS 102.
  3. Audit: Depending on the size and structure of the business, it may be legally required to have an annual audit conducted by a registered auditor. This ensures the business’s financial statements are accurate, providing reassurance to shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders.
  4. Companies House Reporting: UK businesses are required to file certain documents with Companies House, including annual financial statements and confirmation statements, which provide updated information about the company’s directors, shareholders, and registered office.
  5. Data Protection: Though not strictly accounting, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has important implications for the way businesses manage and protect their financial data.

Why is Compliance Essential?

Maintaining compliance is fundamental to the successful operation of any business. It protects the business from legal and financial penalties, supports operational efficiency, and upholds the reputation of the business. Additionally, it can build trust with stakeholders, including investors, customers, and employees, which is crucial for the long-term sustainability of a business.

Compliance in the Digital Age

In today’s digital age, many businesses are adopting accounting software solutions to assist in maintaining compliance. These tools can streamline processes, enhance accuracy, and provide alerts for upcoming compliance deadlines, significantly reducing the risk of non-compliance.

In Conclusion

Understanding UK business compliance in accountancy is an ongoing task due to evolving regulations and standards. It is crucial for business owners to stay updated and ensure they meet all compliance requirements to avoid penalties, protect their reputation, and foster trust among stakeholders. Consider seeking professional advice from accountants or solicitors, who can help navigate the complexities of business compliance and ensure your business remains on the right side of the law.