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News Report Page 13 of 15
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1 month left to join VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

BUSINESSES that deferred VAT payments last year have 1 month left to join online to pay in monthly instalments under the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced, on Thursday, 20 May 2021. The online portal for the new payment scheme closes on 21 June 2021.

Over ˝ a million businesses deferred ₤34 billion in VAT payments due between March and June 2020 under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme. Businesses had until 31 March 2021 to pay this deferred VAT or, if they could not afford to do so, they could go online from 23 February to set up a new payment scheme and pay by monthly instalments to spread the cost.

Jim Harra, HMRC Chief Executive, said:- "Businesses in the North West that deferred paying their VAT last spring have until 21 June to join the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme online. They should act now to avoid missing out on this opportunity to spread payment of their deferred VAT across monthly, interest free, instalments. The new payment scheme is part of the Government package of support worth over ₤350 billion to help protect millions of jobs and businesses during the Pandemic and as we emerge on the path to recovery. HMRC will continue to do all we can to help businesses as they reopen and rebuild."

Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:- "Thanks to the Government, more than ˝ a million businesses were able to defer their VAT payment last year. This provided support at a critical time, protecting millions of jobs and businesses during the Pandemic and injecting ₤34 billion into the UK economy. The VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme means businesses can now manage their cash flow by paying their deferred VAT more gradually, continuing to protect jobs across the UK, as we emerge from the Pandemic and build back better."

The March, April and May joining dates have passed, but businesses can still spread their payments across up to 8 equal monthly instalments, interest free, if they join by 21 June 2021. Payments can easily be set up via the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme onine portal.

HMRC data to 30 April2021 shows 228,850 businesses that deferred their VAT last year have already paid their VAT in full. This, along with instalments already made under the new payment scheme and other payment plans, totals ₤15.1 billion. Since the online service opened on 23 February 2021 another ₤11.5billion has already been committed to future instalment payments by 134,627 businesses.

Eligible businesses that are unable to use our online service by 21 June 2021 can ring the HMRC Coronavirus Helpline on:- 08000241222 to join the scheme until 30 June 2021.

Businesses may be charged a 5% penalty and/or interest if they don't join up to the scheme online by 21 June 2021, or pay in full by 30 June 2021,or contact HMRC to make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.Businesses should also contact HMRC by 30 June 2021 if they need to agree extra help to pay.

To Mandate or Not to Mandate

CARE England, who are the largest representative body of independent adult social care providers, have responded to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "Care England has been active in its support of the Government in the rollout of the Covid19 vaccine and has continued to support its members to do everything they can to persuade residents and staff to have the vaccine with great success. The sector remains united in its support for the vaccine. The shared focus, regardless of the outcome of the consultation, must be to continue to promote the vaccine amongst all the social care sector and the NHS, not just care homes for older adults."

On 14 April 2021, the DHSC launched a five week consultation on whether amendments should be made to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 which mean that older adult care home providers could only deploy those staff who have received the Covid19 vaccination.

Ensuring high levels of vaccination of people living and working in older adult care homes is an essential public health intervention given the heightened risk of Covid19 infection and increased risk of illness and mortality. It is vital however to balance the argument of whether mandating the Covid19 vaccine for adult social care staff will improve the level of protection to residents. Care England's consultation response sought to examine both sides of this argument, whilst also examining the issues associated with bringing forward regulation.

Care England also has raised concern with the consultation process itself:- the consultation period was only 5 weeks, as opposed to the typical 12 week period; the consultation also clashed with the pre-election period of sensitivity; the consultation was predominantly confined to a multiple choice template; and there was limited space for expressing meaningful feedback and where there is, one is limited to 500 words.

Martin Green continues:- "If regulation is the vehicle of choice, it is essential for the issues associated with mandating the vaccine for adult social care staff to be comprehensively addressed prior to its introduction. There must be central guidance, funding and leadership in helping to support adult social care providers in implementing the regulation. In other words, there must appropriate infrastructure support."


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