Businesses delay £1 billion in tax payments

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that some 60,000 businesses have reached agreements for delaying the payment of their taxes.

The Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) allows firms that are struggling to meet their tax obligations to arrange a payment schedule they can afford.

The service covers corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, income tax and national insurance contributions.

According to HMRC over 60,000 businesses have now come to agreements on more flexible payment timetables for tax worth up to £1 billion.

The majority of businesses have agreed repayment timetables spread across 3 to 6 months.

Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I’m delighted that HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service is proving such a huge success, already providing a cashflow boost worth over a billion pounds to UK businesses.

“This service is delivering the kind of tangible support that business needs at this time. I would urge any business anticipating or experiencing difficulties paying their tax to call the helpline and get a quick response tailored to their specific needs.”

Businesses can call a special BPSS helpline number and, in the majority of cases, get a decision within 10 minutes on the help they can receive.

The BPSS is open to all businesses in temporary financial difficulties and can be used to spread tax that is owing over a period which takes into account the business’ circumstances.

HMRC said businesses that have already entered into a time to pay arrangement, but whose circumstances change for the worse, should contact them. In many cases HMRC will be able to revise or extend the time to pay arrangements, depending on individual circumstances.

The BPSS number is 0845 302 1435 and is available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8 am to 4pm at weekends.