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VAT during the pandemic

As a result of the huge pressure many businesses have been put under due to the pandemic, HMRC have offered various support arrangements, ranging from support grants to payment deferrals.

VAT returns that would normally have been payable between 20 March and 30 June 2020 were deferred and payable by 31 March 2021. HMRC have now confirmed that these VAT returns can now be deferred further under a new payment scheme.  

This will be an opt in scheme that will be open shortly. You must opt in yourself if you would like to use the scheme, an agent cannot do this for you. 

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022. 

The scheme will allow you to:

• pay your deferred VAT in instalments without adding interest

• select the number of instalments from 2 to 11 equal monthly payments

To use this scheme, you must:

• still have deferred VAT to pay

• be up to date with your VAT returns

• opt in before the end of March 2021

• pay the first instalment when you opt in

• If you opt into the scheme, you can still have a time to pay arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.

Before opting in you must:

• create your own Government Gateway account if you don’t already have one

• submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years. You will not be able to join the scheme if you have not done so

• correct errors on your VAT returns as soon as possible

• make sure you know how much you owe, including the amount you originally deferred and how much you may have already paid 

You should also:

• pay what you can as soon as possible to allow us to show the correct deferred VAT balance

• consider the number of equal instalments you’ll need, from 2 to 11 months 

If you are not eligible for the new repayment scheme, or you are still unable to pay and need more time, HMRC may be able to offer you a payment plan that factors in your particular circumstances. You should give HMRC a call as soon as possible if this is the case. Failure to make a payment on time without prior approval may result in surcharges.

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