Back in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was just starting the government announced new emergency measures to help those businesses and self-employed people affected by COVID-19 through the Time To Pay service. A dedicated COVID-19 helpline opened on 11 March 2020 and remains available via webchat and phone. HMRC has made up to 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support businesses concerned about meeting their tax liabilities due to coronavirus.
HMRC says that all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Agreements reached with HMRC allow businesses and individuals to pay off their debt by instalments over a period of time.
HMRC will usually only offer taxpayers the option of extra time to pay if they think they genuinely cannot pay in full now but will be able to pay in the future. If HMRC do not think that more time will help a taxpayer then they can require immediate payment and start enforcement action if payment is not forthcoming.
Taxpayers cannot appeal against HMRC’s decision not to grant addition Time To Pay but can make a complaint if they are unhappy about how the way they were treated by HMRC.