A few clients have called me to ask if they can make a pre-emptive payment to HMRC for their balancing payment as they would rather have the money out of their accounts as soon as possible (we are talking 'big hitters' here, well, by my standards at least :) ).
I don't have much experience with making payments to HMRC that they aren't expecting, but in the few cases I have seen HMRC seem inclined to send the payment back thinking it is an overpayment (when in fact the actual liability will arise a while later).
So does anyone have a suggestion as to how to ensure HMRC keep any payments made until the liabilty arises? As an example, Mr X is likely to owe a balancing payment of £20,000 in January 2009. He is still getting his info together and we expect to file his return in January 2009. He wants to make a payment of £20,000 now and obviously make up the rest if need be later. But I am wary that HMRC will send the cheque back at the worst possible time and we will then be in a situation where we think it is paid but HMRC are doing their long process of sending it back, then a penalty.