Act now: extend the payment period for import duty / import VAT

Published by Rupert Moyle on 14 April 2020

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Last updated 14 April 2020

Duty Deferment account holders

If you are struggling to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15th April 2020, you should contact HMRC immediately to request approval and make arrangements to defer the payment for a further period or make partial payment.

The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office:

  • Via telephone – 0300 059 4243
  • Alternatively, call the HMRC COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222.

Account holders will be expected to provide reasoning of why they qualify for a deferment as a result of COVID-19 and the impact on their business finances and cash flow.

Duty Deferment account holders will be able to use their accounts during the extended payment period agreed unless they default on a subsequent payment in that period, in which case HMRC may consider suspending their account. The outstanding payment will not affect their duty deferment limit so they will not need to increase their guarantee to cover the outstanding payment. Where HMRC agree to an extended payment period, interest will not be charged on the outstanding payments provided they are paid in full by the agreed date.

Duty Deferment non-account holders

A similar extension is available for registered importers who do not have a deferment account and pay cash or an equivalent.

HMRC will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis with the business asked to provide reasoning of why they qualify as a result of COVID-19 and the impact on their business finances.

You should contact the Customs Debt Policy inbox to apply via email here.

How can we help?

Our team is well resourced and experienced in advising companies and not-for profit organisations, allowing you to focus on managing your business during this trying period. We are set up to work from home so you can expect the same level of service, albeit remotely rather than in-person. We have:

  • A team of debt advisory and corporate finance experts used to working with banks and other lenders, and can support you with CBILS and CCFF scheme applications. We understand how lenders are currently making credit decisions, and for CBILS loans above £250k particularly can help with your application.
  • Our restructuring and insolvency experts can advise businesses under stress about the options available to them.
  • Our tax experts will also be on hand to advise you on applications to HMRC for the Time to Pay initiative, for corporate tax advice and R&D tax claims. We also have VAT & Duty experts who can support you in revising your VAT position.

Do call us on 0330 124 1399, via our enquiry form or speak to your usual Kreston Reeves contact.

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