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Businesses needed to test new system for paying deferred VAT

8 February 2021: HMRC is urging businesses that deferred VAT payable between 20 March and 30 June 2020 to participate in a pilot scheme this week testing the new payment scheme.

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

The scheme will enable businesses who deferred their VAT in 2020 to pay it back in smaller chunks, interest free, ending in March 2022.

It is a standard offer and businesses can select to repay their deferred VAT in between two and 11 instalments. The scheme will be accessed through a simple digital service which will be open between 23 February and 21 June 2021. It is this service that HMRC needs to test this week ahead of the full scheme launch.

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.

Volunteer businesses will have to make their first payment as part of the test.

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.

Any businesses who 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.