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      COVID-19 Information Hub

      Coronavirus HMRC’s Time To Pay Service – Support For Businesses & Individuals

      On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a package of support for businesses and individuals affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This included HMRC’s Time to Pay Service which businesses and individuals can access where they are struggling to pay their tax on time. Please read on for a summary of advice issued by the government and our own supplementary commentary, analysis and guidance. Updated 10/12/2020

      Government guidance:

      Under the Time to Pay Service, it may be possible to arrange with HMRC a schedule of instalment payments to spread the cost of your next tax liability.


      You or your business may be eligible if you have an existing tax liability, and are struggling to make a payment due to the effects of the Coronavirus crisis on yourself or your business.

      How to access the scheme

      You will need to:

      • set up a payment plan online if your total tax liability is £30,000 or less and do not have any other payment plans in existence with HMRC, your tax returns are up to date and it is less than 60 days after the payment deadline. Use the link below and select the ‘set up a payment plan online’ option. This will require a Government Gateway user ID and password.
      • call the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822 if you have filed your tax return, owe less than £10,000 and will struggle to pay the full liability on time.
      • call the Payment Support Service on 0300 200 3835 if you owe other taxes but have not yet received a bill or letter.
      • call the HMRC office that sent you a payment demand or letter threatening you with legal action.

      More guidance can be found on the government website.

      Kirk Rice commentary:

      The Time to Pay Service is available to help those taxpayers who are genuinely unable to pay their tax in time. If you use the service, the following will normally apply:

      • You will be expected to confirm that you are unable to pay your tax in full by the payment deadline.
      • When you first make contact with the helpline, you will be asked if you can pay some of the tax bill now.
      • If a Time to Pay agreement is put in place, you will be required to pay your tax via the agreed number of instalments by Direct Debit from your bank account. You should, therefore, ensure that you have your bank details to hand when calling.
      • If HMRC do not think you can get your tax payments on track with more time, they will not agree an arrangement with you. They will expect you to pay your tax bill straight away, if overdue, or by the due date if later.
      • If you miss any payments, or do not settle your tax bill immediately with HMRC where they are unable to agree a payment plan with you, then they will start enforcement action against you.
      • Interest will continue to accrue on late payments of tax.
      • Nominated partners of a business partnership can negotiate time to pay with HMRC on behalf of the partnership and its individual partners.

      Time to Pay arrangements are considered on an individual basis and in the light of specific circumstances affecting your ability to pay. As such, these can only be agreed between yourself and HMRC, and therefore Kirk Rice LLP is unable to conduct the negotiations or discussions on your behalf. We are, however, happy to advise you before you contact the HMRC helplines.

      We’ll be updating this page for the answers as and when they become available, so please, do check back regularly for further information.



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