UK citizens keen to beat last week’s annual tax return deadline used the Alliance & Leicester Internet online bill payment service to pay £4.9 million to the Inland Revenue on 31 January alone.
Friday’s figure was an almost four-fold increase on the £1.3 million figure the BillPay service saw on 31 January last year. In the seven days up to Friday, a total of £16.7 million was paid to the Inland Revenue – five times more than during the same period in 2002.
Any payments not made in time for the 31 January self assessment deadline this year will have automatically started attracting interest at the Inland Revenue’s current APR of 6.5%. Additionally, there will be a five per cent surcharge on amounts still outstanding on 28 February.
BillPay is operated by Girobank, Alliance & Leicester’s commercial banking arm. The Inland Revenue is one of almost 200 organisations that accept payments over the service.