All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay (TTP) service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
Those concerned about being able to pay their tax due to COVID-19 should contact HMRC at the earliest opportunity by calling HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 024 1222.
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm
Callers should make sure to have on hand:
- Their reference number (10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference Number or nine-digit VAT reference number).
- How much tax they owe and why they are finding it difficult to pay.
- How much they may be able to pay immediately and details of how long they may require to pay the rest.
- Their bank account details
If successful, the most likely outcome will be the option to pay the bill in instalments by direct debit or an extension on the time to pay the liability by.
Ultimately, HMRC will decide the terms on which they believe the taxpayer will be able to repay their tax based on individual circumstances and may ask in-depth questions relating to income and assets (including savings).
In addition, HMRC may waive late payment penalties and interest where businesses experience administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.
If you cannot get through on the dedicated helpline HMRC suggests some alternative actions to take:
- Call the regular HMRC TTP number, which is 0300 200 3853.
- Call HMRC’s Business Payment Support Services on 0300 200 3835 (open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm at weekends).
- Send a letter to HMRC detailing the request and payment plan and ask that it is forwarded to the TTP unit.
- Make a written dated and timed record of every attempted call to HMRC, including precisely what the purpose of the call was.
Go to HMRC’s website for more information.