VAT News

Urgent – Reminder to apply for Import VAT Payment Extension before 15th May


In the run up to the 15th April 2020 businesses who are importers of goods into the UK and who use a Duty Deferment Account were able to make an application to HMRC to agree an extension to the payment of that VAT liability. This relief has now been extended to include the next Import VAT payment date of the 15th May.

If you were an importer who made an application for a payment extension for the 15th April you should email the Central Deferment Office at You should be clear that you are applying for a payment extension to the May 15th due payment due to the negative impact of COVID 19 and illustrate how the financial position of the business has remained under pressure or has worsened if that is the case. If your business can make the payment in full expected by the 15th May, you are unlikely to qualify for any extension to the payment terms.

If this is the first time that you are applying for an Import VAT deferral then contact the Central Deferment office at the same email address or call HMRC on 03000 594243 – you can also use the HMRC COVID-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222.

These helplines are operating between 0800 – 1600 Monday to Friday (not Bank Holidays).

You will still be able to use your deferment account whilst the payment is extended but do take care not to default on any subsequent payment as HMRC may consider suspending the account.

We understand that HMRC will not be charging interest of these extended payment periods as long as they are paid in full by the dates agreed under the agreement.

It is important not to confuse this system to defer Import VAT payments with the general VAT Return deferral under which those VAT Return payments due in the period to the 30th June will be deferred to the 31st March 2021. The extended payment terms for the Import VAT may vary by individual business’s situation.

As ever we will need to keep a watch for each month going forward as to whether this Import VAT extended payment period offer will be revisited.

Please remember there may well be VAT or Environmental Tax ideas that can help improve the cashflow position within your business and reduce your liability to both types of Indirect Taxes – if this is an area you’d like to chat through with the Centurion team – do get in touch with your usual Centurion adviser or email on

For the avoidance of doubt, the content recorded in this news article does not constitute formal advice and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It is always recommended that you seek professional advice before acting on any of the news articles or information included.

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