This week HMRC have opened a dedicated helpline available for businesses and individuals to discuss impending tax liabilities and arrange a time to pay agreement due to cash flow difficulties arising from COVID-19, the number is 0800 0159 559.
The helpline has only been open a couple of days however we are already seeing that HMRC are looking favourably at most cases and agreeing to instalments over generous periods of time. They are requiring a direct debit to be set up upon acceptance of the agreement. They are also allowing agents to call and agree payment plans therefore the business only needs to call to confirm the payment plan and set up the direct debits.
All very positive, although it is proving very difficult to get through to the helpline as they’re short staffed due to Corona Virus! We are lobbying the government to employ more staff and extend the opening hours beyond 8am – 8pm.
HMRC have also mentioned about accelerating CIS refunds to pre 6 April 2020 and we can look into this upon request.
Other ways businesses can look to aid their cashflow during this difficult time is potentially shortening accounting periods to trigger earlier corporation tax refunds, or moving to monthly VAT returns if refunds are due.
Sophie Holmes 20 March 2020