Tax issues facing the Food & Drink sector – delaying tax payments

Category: COVID-19Food & Drink - Posted On: Apr 7 2020

In these unprecedented times, you might think that tax is the last thing to consider, but it’s not all bad and there are ways you can spread or defer tax payments.

As proud members of Scotland Food & Drink, a key sector leader promoting the interests of Scotland, we have summarised some of the tax issues facing the sector over a few articles. In this first article, we discuss the best ways in which tax payable can be deferred or spread.


Any payments for VAT between now and 30 June 2020 do not need to be made. If necessary, you must cancel your direct debit for paying the VAT bill. Returns will be submitted as normal, however, and those eligible for a VAT repayment should claim that as normal too. Any deferred VAT payments should be settled by 31 March 2021.

Income tax under self-assessment

Any personal tax due on 31 July 2020 under self-assessment can be deferred and if you wish to do that, any direct debit should be cancelled. The payment should be brought up to date by 31 January 2021.

Any other tax

You may have PAYE/NIC tax to settle or corporation tax due. If you need time to pay, make that request before the due date and in our experience HMRC will be sympathetic to your position. You can call HRMC on 0300 200 3835 to discuss your situation.

You can find more guidance from HRMC by clicking on the link here.

We sincerely hope you are getting the right guidance and support as we all work through this period but if not, our team will be delighted to help you. We know tax is not your first priority but there are many opportunities to preserve cash flow in order to allow you to look after your staff and your other key assets.

To discuss your own circumstances, please get in touch with one of our EQ Food & Drink specialists, David Morrison, Ross Oliphant or Rachel Bell. If you prefer, you can call them on 01382 312100.