For some time, taxpayers within Self Assessment have been able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement online, allowing them to pay their tax bill in instalments if they cannot pay it in full and on time. The facility to set up their own Time to Pay arrangement has now been extended to VAT-registered businesses.
Setting up a VAT payment plan online
If you operate a VAT-registered business and you are struggling to pay the VAT that you owe, rather than having to contact HMRC to set up a Time to Pay agreement, you may now be able to do it yourself online. A Time to Pay agreement will enable you to pay the VAT that you owe in instalments. Payments are collected via direct debit.
You will be able to use the online self-serve facility if the following conditions are met:
- you have filed your last VAT return;
- the amount that you owe is £20,000 or less;
- you are within 28 days of the payment deadline;
- you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC; and
- you plan to pay what you owe within six months.
However, you cannot use the online service if you use the VAT cash accounting scheme or if you use the VAT annual accounting scheme. You are also unable to use the online service if you make VAT payments on account.
To set up a payment plan online, you will need to sign into your Government Gateway account. As you need to set up a direct debit to collect the payments, this is something you must do yourself. While an adviser can guide you, they cannot do it on your behalf.
Unable to self-serve
If you are not eligible to use the online service and are struggling to pay your VAT bill, you may still be able to agree an instalment plan with HMRC. However, to do so you will need to contact HMRC by calling the VAT payment service on 0300 200 3831.