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HMRC deferred VAT pilot scheme volunteers awarded interest-free perks – deadline to sign-up 12 February

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HMRC is urging businesses that deferred VAT payable between 20 March and 30 June 2020 to participate in a pilot scheme this week to test the new payment scheme before 12 February, the ICAEW reported.

  • VAT registered businesses could benefit by volunteering for the HMRC VAT Deferral New Payment Digital Pilot scheme
  • Sign up before 12 February

What is the pilot scheme for?

HMRC is looking for volunteers to test its IT system for the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme before 12 February.

Why volunteer?

The scheme will enable businesses who deferred their VAT in 2020 to pay it back in smaller chunks, interest-free, ending in March 2022. However, volunteer businesses will have to make their first payment as part of the test.

It is a standard offer and businesses can select to repay their deferred VAT in between two and 11 instalments, reported the ICAEW. The scheme will be accessed through “a simple digital service” and it is this service that HMRC needs to test this week ahead of the full scheme launch.

Which businesses can volunteer?

HMRC needs a broad cross-section of VAT-registered businesses and will need to do a little checking to ensure volunteers meet its desired tester profile. To that end, volunteers will have to take part in a short telephone or online interview.

Do I need special software?

No. The scheme does not require specialist software and is designed to be a self-guided journey to be used by the business rather than their agent.

Next steps

Any businesses that would like to take part in the testing should email vatinfrastructurecovid19policy@hmrc.gov.uk as soon as possible, with their contact details and a subject line of “Volunteer Beta Tester – New Payment Scheme”.

Guidance on paying VAT deferred due to COVID-19 can be found on gov.uk.

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