UK Government provides £11 billion boost for taxpayers facing difficulty due to COVID-19


Copyright: HM Revenue & Customs

The second Self Assessment payment on account for 2019 to 2020 is ordinarily due at the end of July. However, the UK Government previously announced it is supporting the self-employed and others by allowing them to defer this payment. This option to defer is on top of additional support for the self-employed through £7.8 billion in grants paid through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The payment on account deferral will give immediate support to businesses and individuals by keeping cash at their disposal during this extraordinary time of uncertainty. A projected estimate based on 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment receipts suggests that the July payment deferral will provide up to an £11.8 billion cash flow boost to taxpayers. Around 2.7 million taxpayers are eligible for deferral. Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General of Customer Services said, "We want to support taxpayers as much as possible as they face uncertainty and difficult circumstances. That’s why we want to remind those who may struggle to pay a tax bill right now that they have the option to defer their Self Assessment payment". To make this as hassle-free as possible, customers need not contact HMRC to defer their payment on account. They can opt into the deferral by simply not paying their tax bill due by 31 July 2020. If no payment is received, HMRC will automatically update their systems to show payment has been deferred and no interest or penalties will be incurred, providing it is paid in full by 31 January 2021. The only action customers may need to take is to cancel their direct debit if they have one set up for their payments on account.

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