Extending deferment of import VAT/Duty

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HMRC has recently announced that businesses unable to pay their 15 April import VAT and Customs Duty liabilities through their Duty deferral account can apply for a temporary deferral of these liabilities if they are in severe financial difficulty. There has also been an announcement aimed at importers (without an HMRC deferment account) that are unable to pay import VAT and Customs Duties due to severe financial difficulties.

Duty deferment account holders

Duty deferment account holders who are experiencing severe financial difficulty as a result of the Coronavirus and who are unable to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15 April 2020 can contact HMRC for approval to enter into an extended period to make full or partial payment, without having their guarantee called upon or their deferment account suspended. 

The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office on T: 03000 594243 or E:  [email protected]

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 agrees 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/import VAT payments not covered by a duty deferment account

Registered Importers who pay cash or an equivalent and are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of the Coronavirus can contact HMRC to request an extension to the payment deadline at the time the payment is due. They will need to explain how the current situation has impacted their business finances. Decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis and could be refused. 

If the request is approved, the conditions, including the length of time offered, will depend upon the importer’s individual circumstances and may require the holding of a guarantee for the period of the time extension. The facility is not open to non-registered importers. For further information, please email: [email protected].

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