Taxation and insurance

Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months

The deferral of VAT will apply from 20th March 2020 until the 30th June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax payments deferred for self-employed 

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Time to Pay

A dedicated helpline (see below) has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

Tax Helpline

HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses and self-employed individuals concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. Find all the information here or call 0800 0159 559.

Filing your accounts

Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.


Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.