The government announced a number of measures in their recent budget, to try to help businesses cope with COVID-19.  These include help with Statutory Sick Pay for small employers, and increased support under Time To Pay (TTP) arrangements which can help spread the settlement of tax liabilities, including VAT and PAYE.  The relevant guidance can be found below.

The number is 0800 0159 559.

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice. HMRC have announced that  Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to provide support if needed.

For those who are unable to pay due to Covid-19,  HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances, including:

– Agreeing an instalment arrangement

– Cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

– Suspending debt collection proceedings

Before you contact HMRC, you’ll need to have to hand:

– Your reference number (for example, your 10-digit unique taxpayer reference or VAT reference number)

– The amount of the tax bill you’re finding difficult to pay and the reasons why

– The steps you have taken to try to pay the outstanding amount

– The amount you can pay immediately and how long you may need to pay the remaining balance

– Your bank account details


Be prepared for questions around the outstanding amounts owed, HMRC will ask you about:

– Your expenditure and income

– Your assets, like savings and investments

– What you’re doing to get your tax payments back in order

HMRC will give you their opinion as to whether they think you should be able to pay immediately. If you cannot, they’ll decide whether you’ll be able to get your payments back on track with more time to pay.

If you have been given more time to pay in the past, you may be asked more in-depth questions. In more complex cases HMRC may ask for evidence before they make a decision.

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