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Coronavirus – financial response - delaying payments to HMRC

20 March 2020 (3.00pm)

The following is a further letter being sent to all Baptists Together Churches by Baptist Union Treasurer John Levick

Dear Friends

We have received information from our auditor at the Baptist Union regarding the potential to delay payments to HMRC to alleviate cashflow problems from the current unprecedented situations (see below).

You need to note:

  • This provides a delay to paying monies to HMRC.  It is not letting anyone off eventual payment. 
  • You need to run your payroll in the usual way and submit the regular returns, particularly your monthly RTI schedule to show you owe monies to HMRC. 
  • There is no guarantee of a delay. 

We will continue to try to keep you updated with other developments as they arise.
As you become more aware of the effects of the current situation on your church, please be assured that we continue to look for ways in which we can support you through these difficult times.  I pray that the Lord will give you inspiration to continue to be church in different ways to help your people still feel part of your local body in Christ.

John Levick

Delaying payments to HMRC

Obviously we are in new territory with everything now shutting down. In the absence of any information on time frames we have been reviewing the measures that the government has put in place, in the form of some type of support.
We believe, at the present time, the ‘time to pay’ is something all clients ought to be considering. We are encouraging our clients including charities to take advantage of this. In effect the government is allowing you to delay paying PAYE/NIC and VAT.  
The key is to submit your payroll as you normally would, so the liability appears on their system. Once it does you can ask to defer the payment citing financial difficulties. They should allow you to do this with the view that you set up a monthly payment plan. You will need to ring back the following month to do the same for that month’s payroll and so on.  
This should give you some breathing space to deal with the delay in receiving cash, while still having to meet your liabilities. We are already predicting a significant impact on our clients but we believe by working together, the sector should come out of this stronger.  
We have had differing results from our clients in applying for the ‘time to pay’ from HMRC. The successful applicants seem to be those who have the payroll liability already recorded and have simply cited financial difficulties to enable HMRC to approve the ‘time’ to pay application. However, we acknowledge that, as always, who you get through to at HMRC will dictate the outcome of your call.  
We have already had clients take advantage of this offer with positive results which has helped alleviate the stress of any future uncertainty.  
Below, you can find our full update of government support and details of the phone number to ring. Our own Coronavirus Hub will also keep you updated as the government continues to make further announcements.

The tax helpline and government support can be found at:

Neil Finlayson
Head of Not for Profit
Moore Kingston Smith


John Levick

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Links to all our guidance information
The latest information for churches
Document re-written to reflect removal of legal requirement in England from 19 July and the completion of the move to Alert level 0 in Wales from 7 August
The latest guidance for churches
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues
Your key legal requirement prior to re-opening is to carry out a risk assessment
    Posted: 20/03/2020