Given the uncertainty that many businesses are facing due to the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’d like to take the opportunity to highlight the different types of help and support that are available which may help from a VAT perspective.
Whilst we will continue to issue regular advisory updates as information is released, please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require specific help and assistance with any of the topics highlighted below or any other indirect tax matters.
HMRC is willing to assist those that are genuinely struggling to pay their tax in these unprecedented circumstances using Time-To-Pay arrangements, and have a set up a helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about the situation.
Given the uncertainty that lies ahead, it would however be prudent to consider longer term requirements rather than an immediate short-term fix which may require to be revisited within a few weeks.
For those who are unable to pay their tax liabilities due to the Impact of the coronavirus outbreak, we can discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
- Agreeing an instalment arrangement
- Suspending debt collection proceedings
- Cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately
If you wish to contact HMRC directly the helpline number is 0800 0159 559. Alternatively, please contact us directly to discuss areas of assistance in more detail.
Estimated VAT returns
Where businesses experience difficulties with accounts reporting functions, or should business records be incomplete, it may be possible to prepare and submit VAT returns on an estimated basis.
It is important to consider all available information when calculating an estimated return and to use best judgement. This can mitigate any unexpected indirect tax exposures going forward when accounts are brought up to date.
Bad debt relief
Where debtor balances increase, and customers are late in making payments, businesses may consider seeking relief on VAT previously paid to HMRC. Once a debt is more than 180 days old it can be possible to claim VAT bad debt relief until such a time that the debt is settled. We’re well placed to advise on outstanding debtor balances and the options available to you.
As the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and corresponding Government measures continue to evolve, we will be keeping all our clients and contacts appraised with the most up to date information.
To help support our clients during this critical period, we have put together a list of recommendations that you should be mindful of, which can be accessed here. If you’d like to opt in to our regular updates, please click here.