Small businesses take up tax deferral in droves

More than 20,000 small firms have used HM Revenue & Customs’ Business
Payment Support Service to defer their tax bills since it launched at the end of
November 2008.

The service helps struggling firms by allowing them to set up an affordable
tax payment timetable. Under the scheme, HMRC will not apply any late payment
surcharges where a deferment has been made. But it will charge interest on
outstanding amounts that were unpaid at the time of taking up the service.

According to HMRC, more than £350m in tax, including VAT, PAYE and National
Insurance, has already been deferred.

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