In March 2020 we cancelled our VAT direct debit mandate, as recommended, due to the uncertainty over Coronavirus. Therefore Q1/20 VAT was not collected by HMRC. The Direct Debit mandate has subsequently been reinstated. In January 2021 I decided the time had come to pay the Q1 VAT and I set up a HMRC direct debit payment accordingly. On subsequent checking I found that HMRC had allocated the payment against Q4/20 return, only claiming the balance due for that quarter by direct debit and leaving Q1/20 outstanding. So in March'21 I made a BACS payment to our VAT account for the outstanding Q1/20 VAT. This is now showing on the account as an unallocated payment (dated 15th March), leaving the Q1/20 balance showing as an overdue debt. I presume that when we submit Q1/21 they will use the payment against that. Unlike with PAYE there appears to be no way of communicating to HMRC what VAT period is being paid - or have I overlooked it somewhere?
I have tried to contact HMRC to get this allocated correctly. The web site actively discourages phone calls (and I have no desire to spend a day hanging on the phone waiting listening to their hold music), web chat is permanently busy and I don't have time to sit here all day refreshing the page in the hope that someone will become available. In January and earlier this month I have used the online VAT enquiry submission form to raise this question but no reply has been forthcoming. I have submitted another query today but am not hopeful of a response (HMRC says aloow 15 days LOL).
Has anyone here any experience of getting VAT payments correctly allocated? Is my only option to wait until they decide to chase me for payment and charge me penalties?