Time to Pay requests refusals are increasing

THERE HAS BEEN a huge increase in the number of “Time to Pay” arrangements that have been rejected by HM Revenue & Customs.

Figures released today by HMRC show that 3,390 TTP requests were refused in the first three months of 2011, in comparison to 2,440 in the same period in 2009 and 2,360 in 2010. The number of requests agreed have dropped dramatically, with 32,900 agreed in the first quarter of this year, compared with 82,000 in 2009 and 57,800 in 2010.

HMRC said that the scheme “continues to be available to help companies address short-term cash flow difficulties that result in an inability to pay their tax in full and on time”. It added that the criteria for arrangements had not changed in any way.

However, insolvency practitioners have claimed that the Revenue is taking a harder line. Tony Murphy, a partner at Bridge Business Recovery, said: “HMRC is kicking some requests in to touch, and needlessly so. Even with secure guarantees, it is turning them down.” He added that deals are being restricted to payments within three months.

Steven Law, a partner at Ensors, said that it is becoming “increasingly difficult” to request TTP arrangements for companies that have already been subject to one. However, he added, HMRC is still looking favourably at first time arrangements.

Related reading

HMRC banknotes