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How to negotiate Time to Pay in current climate

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Jennifer Adams explains the situation as it currently stands with regard to tax payments under the "COVID-19 Help for Business" scheme.

3rd Apr 2020
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"I have asked HMRC to scale up the Time to Pay service, allowing businesses and the self‐employed to defer tax payments over an agreed period of time. Starting today, there will be a dedicated helpline with 2,000 staff ready to help." – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Budget 2020.

Over the last week, many accountants will have been taking calls from clients worried about their ability to pay their past or forthcoming tax bills. To help those taxpayers the chancellor announced a 'scaling up' of the 'Time to Pay' service and deferment of tax payments but in doing so, he has added more confusion to what is already a difficult situation.

HMRC Time to Pay helpline

This department is separate from the Debt Management and Banking department and each have their different remits. The special Time to Pay department referred to by the chancellor in the quote above is effectively a call centre and has been set up purely to agree deferment of tax.

Any taxpayer can apply and an agent can ring on the clients' behalf. For once you will not have to wait long for the call to be answered as when the author rang, the operator said that my call was the first one they had taken in 55 minutes.

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