It’s beginning to sound like the title of a particular poor horror movie -Time To Pay. In this case however, this could be one of those awful moments life imitates art.
Time to pay could well be a horror story in the making.
Which is sad because the tragedy here is that something horrible could brewing from something that has been a success.
The Time to Pay scheme has allowed businesses to put off paying billions in tax. Potentially it is responsible for saving hundreds if not thousands of businesses from going under in the recession and, in turn, saving jobs and everything that comes with those.
The problem is what’s the plan for dealing with all that unpaid debt.
ICAEW CEO Michael Izza is quite right to raise the issue in a letter to the Treasury.
It is indeed time that we understood what the government’s intentions are. Right it off? Allow the outstanding sums to be managed over time or call it all in right now as part of a brutal austerity programme?
Of course the middle option seems like the most sensible route and the most sensible way of dealing with that is to get the plans out into the open so that everyone can begin applying a little certainty to all these tax debts.
The worst route is to call all the debts in. It’s now almost inconceivable that could happen because of the damage it might cause to the economy. The only people that would help is the insolvency practitioners and, while some of my best friends are IPs, they’ve made enough money already.
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