The government have put in place two forms of assistance for the payment of tax to help businesses and the self-employed during the Covid-19 outbreak.
VAT payments deferral
All businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. All deferred VAT payments will need to be paid by 31 March 2021.
You do not need to inform HMRC if you wish to defer payment. You can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period. If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.
Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.
Deferring Self-Assessment payments on account
If you’re due to pay a self-assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020 but the impact of the coronavirus causes you difficulty in making payment by that date, then you may defer payment until January 2021.
You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.
The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July, you should do so.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until 31 January 2021.
During the deferral period you can set up a budget payment plan to help you pay the deferred payment on account when it comes due.
HMRC tax helpline
HMRC has a helpline set up for any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to Covid-19 to get practical help and advice: 0800 0159 559
The helpline is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays).
Other HMRC business payment support contact details can be found here