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The management of debt owed to HMRC

In 2019-20 HM Revenue and Customs collected £636.7 billion in total tax revenues. The amount of tax overdue for payment at 31 March 2020 was £22.4 billion. On 20 March 2020, the government announced measures that deferred future payments of some taxes, in recognition of the financial pressures put on taxpayers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This study will consider how HMRC is adapting its debt management approach in light of the pandemic. It will assess:

  • HMRC’s understanding of how the pandemic has affected taxpayers;
  • How HMRC is adapting its debt management practices in light of the pandemic; and
  • The impact this has on the capacity, capability and tools HMRC needs to respond.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly.

More information about our work to report on government’s response to COVID-19 can be found here.