£11bn boost for taxpayers facing difficulty due to COVID-19

HMRC is today reminding Self Assessment taxpayers that they can automatically defer their July payment on account, providing up to a £11.8bn cash flow boost to taxpayers.

Anyone who has difficulty paying their second 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment payment on account can take advantage of automatically deferring the payment until 31 January 2021. Around 2.7 million taxpayers are eligible for deferral.

The second Self Assessment payment on account for 2019 to 2020 is ordinarily due at the end of July, but the 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 £7.8bn 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.

Customers will not need to contact HMRC to defer their payment on account - they 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, HMRC said.

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.”

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