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Friday, March 26, 2010

Budget offers help for struggling businesses

Chancellor pledges more help for firms with unaffordable tax bills

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced that the Business Payment Support Scheme will be extended for the life of the next Parliament.

Under the scheme, HM Revenue and Customs will agree to requests from businesses to defer unaffordable tax payments in an attempt to safeguard jobs and prevent the damaging effects of high numbers of insolvencies. Since the scheme was introduced in November 2008, over £5bn in unpaid taxes has been re-negotiated by 160,000 businesses employing more than 1.4 million people.

There had been speculation that the scheme would be abolished during 2010 as the Treasury tried to maximise tax revenue as part of the Government’s efforts to cope with the record levels of public borrowing. However, the scheme has been popular and is considered to have been instrumental in saving many businesses and jobs.

However, in a separate announcement the Government has announced that from 1 April 2010 any requests for time to pay agreements for tax debts in excess of £1m will need to be accompanied by an independent business review to demonstrate the long term viability of the business. HMRC estimates that this will affect approximately 1 in every thousand requests.

This announcement will affect few firms but I’ve seen that even small firms are being increasingly asked to provide accounts when requesting time to pay agreements.

If your business is facing unaffordable tax bills, call Paul Moorhead today on 01709 331300 for help and advice. We can help arrange a time to pay agreement with HMRC.

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