Flexible tax payment terms a hit with SMEs, says taxman

A tax advice service that allows small business more time to pay their tax
bill has received more than 11,000 calls since it was announced last month in
the pre-Budget report, according to HM Revenue and Customs.

The Business Payment Support Service also allowed 4700 extended ‘time to pay’
agreements worth about £88.5m between November 24 and December 7, HMRC said.

A further 1900 cases were referred for more detailed consultation. The BPSS
web page has been viewed 203,000 times.

Stephen Banyard, director of the HMRC business customer unit, said the ‘time
to pay’ arrangement was established to create an agreement over tax payment as
quickly as possible in order to businesses through the economic downturn.

He said he was encouraged that majority of ‘time to pay’ requests’ were being
agreed over the phone without having to be referred to more specialist teams.

‘We will be monitoring developments to ensure that we continue to respond
quickly to the needs of business,’ he said.

A recent survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Taxation asked tax
advisors how sympathetic they were to HMRC regarding late tax payments. Just
under a quarter of those surveyed felt HMRC was unsympathetic, while 10% said
they had a positive experience.

Nick Goulding, president of the CIoT, said he hoped the BPS, ‘which is aimed
at those very businesses with immediate problems, will help here.’

Further Reading:
HMRC cuts 3400 jobs, close 90 tax, VAT offices
MPs says HMRC should use terror legislation on evaders

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