BusinessBusiness RecoveryHMRC considers Time to Pay data secrecy

HMRC considers Time to Pay data secrecy

The taxman is considering whether to stop revealing details of Time to Pay (TTP) statistics in the future

HM Revenue & Customs is reviewing the release of statistical information
on Time to Pay arrangements.

While HMRC is reviewing its position, it has postponed the release of any TTP
data.

TTP, also known as Business Payment Support Service arrangements, allows
businesses to defer tax payments to the Revenue.

Colin Howe, president of the UK200Group, said he would be “very concerned”
if this was the case.

Howe explained that Vince Cable, speaking at a recent Institute of Directors
event, said his department’s instructions to HMRC was to still make it “easy”
for applicants to receive TTP arrangements.

“This contrasts with the experience of most practitioners; if stats aren’t
published we’ll never know,” said Howe.

Richard Mannion, national head of tax at Smith & Williamson, said the
message from HMRC is that TTP works and this latest announcement “doesn’t quite
tie-up”.

Mannion offers the explanation that spending cuts could be the reason behind
the review.

An HMRC spokesman said it was currently “considering the release of
statistics” for TTP.

He added: “Until such a review is completed HMRC is unable to provide
statistical information for the BPSS.”

The HMRC spokesman was unable to give an indication as to how long the review
would last.

HMRC revealed in March this year it allowed businesses to defer £5.13bn worth
of taxes by setting up 300,000 TTPs in its first 15 months.

Alistair Darling gave the go-ahead in his final budget, earlier this year, to
extend the availability of TTP arrangements to 2015.

Further reading:

HMRC’s
time-to-pay scheme tops £5bn

Private
businesses call for Time to Pay increase

Firms
on HMRC’s Time to Pay approval panel revealed

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