Many regular importer of goods from outside the EU, pay import VAT and duty via a duty deferment account which defers the payment of the VAT/duty until the 15th of the month following that of the imports. Over the weekend, HMRC have announced a payment deferral as a result of COVID-19 for payments falling due on 15th April, subject to a financial hardship test.
If your business is experiencing severe financial difficulties because of COVID-19 you should contact HMRC for approval to enter an extended payment period, during which your bank guarantee will not be called upon, nor will your deferment account be suspended. The level of bank guarantee will not need to be increased and interest will not be charged on outstanding amounts providing these are paid by the agreed date.
You will be asked to explain how the crisis has impacted cashflow and the business finances.
Businesses which pay VAT and Duty by cash or equivalent means should also contact HMRC to discuss an extended time to pay if they are also struggling financially at this time. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
You should contact the Duty Deferment Office by:
- Telephone: 03000 594243
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone the COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222
For further information and any questions you may have on this matter, please contact a member of the Mercer & Hole team.