HMRC has changed the guidance on deferring income tax payments. All taxpayers with a second self-assessment payment on account due on 31 July 2020 can defer payment until 31 January 2021.
It is not necessary to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferral.
HMRC’s guidance previously said that the deferral applied only to the self-employed but there was some confusion as other HMRC sources were advising that the deferral applied to everyone. The position is now clear – the deferral applies to all self assessment taxpayers – and is a pragmatic approach.
The deferral is optional – some taxpayers may prefer to make the July payment to avoid a larger payment in January 2021. Any taxpayer who wishes to defer payment needs to cancel any direct debit set up for this payment on account (direct debits for self assessment payments on account are specific to each payment).
Further support from ICAEW on the coronavirus outbreak
Will HMRC charge interest if the second payment on account is not paid until 31 January 2021?