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PAYE deadlines and support during COVID-19 disruption

Andy Hamman, Director, Employment Tax
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Under normal circumstances, businesses would be thinking about tax and administrative deadlines that are approaching in March. In particular, the payment date for PAYE, National Insurance, construction industry scheme and student loan liabilities is 19th of the month or, if paying electronically, the funds must have cleared HMRC’s bank account by 22nd.

However, these aren’t normal circumstances. The outbreak of COVID-19 and disruption it has caused to the majority of businesses will mean that the above deadlines may not be at the forefront of their planning, or cashflow issues caused by the virus may put into doubt the ability to meet these liabilities; both of which are completely understandable.

There may be some options open to businesses who are worried about their ability to meet these deadlines.

HMRC Time To Pay Arrangement

HMRC have offered that those facing financial distress because of COVID-19, 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 HMRC will discuss the specific circumstances to explore:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline for this purpose, which can be accessed by calling 0800 0159 559.

Loan Interruption Scheme – for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

In addition, at Budget 2020, the Government announced that a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will be launched to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value.

While this support will be too late to meet past PAYE liability deadlines, it might be something to consider if you are worried that paying your PAYE liabilities is likely to cause cashflow issues in the coming weeks or months.

If you have any questions about your PAYE liabilities and the upcoming deadlines, particularly during this uncertain time, please get in contact with Crowe and we will be happy to assist you.

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Andy Hamman
Andy Hamman
Director, Employment Tax