Time to pay

The measure

The measures supporting tax payers in debt announced were:

  • A specialist debt management phone line with 2,000 staff to support taxpayers struggling to pay HMRC debts due to COVID-19. Bespoke time to pay arrangements may be available and HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative issues due to COVID-19; and,

  • An investment of £12.5m to build a wider debt management programme, which will give taxpayers time to pay of up to 60 days for problem debts, including those due to local and central government. The programme will be led by HMRC and take effect from 2021.


Who will be affected?

Taxpayers with cashflow difficulties.


When will the measure come into effect?

The Budget documents report that the COVID-19 helpline has already been set up. The wider debt management system is due to take effect in early 2021. 

Our view

These look to strengthen and protect HMRC’s position where needed whilst also providing support to those in need, especially as a result of COVID-19 We are supportive of both these new measures.