Tax payers under self-assessment should not assume they can automatically defer their next payment until the start of 2021, despite the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Jessica Swift, Tax Client Manager at Dyke Yaxley said there was a lot of confusion surrounding the requirements for the latest round of tax instalments.
“HM Revenue and Customs said that tax payers could opt to defer their second self-assessment payment on account for the 2019/20 tax year if they are finding it difficult to pay due to the impact of Coronavirus.
“The payment would usually be due by July 31, but if you do defer, you will not be charged interest or penalties on any amount of the total tax due, as long as you pay it on or before January 31, 2021.”
But Jessica said that HMRC had been issuing blanket self-assessment statements in the last few weeks which show the second payment on account as falling due on January 31, rather than the normal due date at the end of this month.
“Understandably this has caused a great deal of confusion, and led many people to think that the deferral of the July payment is automatic and applies to all taxpayers.
“This is just not the case though – the deferral is only available to tax payers who are finding it difficult to pay due to the direct impact of Coronavirus. The advice from HMRC is still to make the payment as normal if you can. However, if you genuinely can’t pay, you don’t need to contact HMRC or do anything further for now.
“And if you haven’t yet been contacted by HMRC about your second payment on account and are unsure how much is due, seek professional advice as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the deadline.”