HMRC’s tax deferral scheme delaying the inevitable?

Companies who have taken advantage of HMRC’s Business Payments Support Service during the recession, which allowed them to defer tax payments in order to stave off insolvency, had better be in much better shape in 2010.
Sorry to put a dampener on peoples’ Christmas spirits, but I suspect the tradtional increase in insolvencies seen coming out of a recession will be exacerbated in 2010 when the Taxman comes a calling looking for repayment of deferred tax. Some companies who are still suffering in the economic downturn may not be able to afford the bill.
During the recession, the HMRC agreed deferred payments with over 200, 000 companies. But this empathy with cash strapped organisations can’t continue forever, particularly with the government having such a big hole in its coffers. The other thing we should not overlook is that the Taxman is on record as the biggest Petitioner for Winding Up companies in the Courts (for non payment of tax debts.)
I reckon therefore that all the signs point to the HMRC taking a firmer line in collecting what is owed to them in 2010, and those companies still left struggling to make ends meet after 2 years of economic downturn are likely to perish.
For many, the HMRC’s deferred tax scheme has been a real life saver- for others I fear, it has simply delayed an inevitable demise.

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