Tax and the Coronavirus Pandemic

The government has announced a number of tax and financial measures to support businesses and individuals during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Self-assessment tax payments scheduled for 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021. All self employed individuals are eligible and no applications are required.

A VAT deferral will be in place for all businesses between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. No payment will be required within that period and taxpayers will have until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to repay any amounts deferred. All businesses are eligible and no application is required.

The planned extension of IR35 to the private sector, scheduled for 6 April 2020, will be delayed by one year.

HMRC has set up a new helpline for businesses and self employed individuals who may experience difficulties paying their tax due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Options may include:

  • Agreeing instalment payments;
  • Suspending debt collections;
  • or Cancelling penalties and interest when the taxpayer has experienced administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC.

This is an extension of the HMRC Time to Pay service which is an existing service available to UK taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities.

Agreements are reached on a case by case basis and, for difficulties relating to Coronavirus, HMRC can be contacted on the new helpline number: 0800 0159 559. Before contacting HMRC you should gather the following information:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference or VAT reference number;
  • Details of income and expenditure;
  • Details of assets such as savings and investments; and
  • Details of how much you can pay immediately, when you think you can pay the remainder and what steps you have taken to bring your tax payments up to date.

Non tax financial measures

Short term cash flow support is available through the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Very large companies may be eligible for the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility, under which the Bank of England will buy short term debt from companies.

For advice or assistance with any of the above measures please contact: or

For further detail on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, extensions to Statutory Sick Pay and other employment law related matters please contact our Head of Employment Law on

The data contained within this document is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. Readers are also advised that the law and practice may change from time to time. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute accounting, legal or tax advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.