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Struggling to pay business tax

With the start of a new tax year may come worries about whether you can meet National Insurance, VAT and other tax payments owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). If you’re struggling, help may be at hand in the form of the Business Payment Support Service.

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The start of a new tax year can be a difficult time for small businesses already struggling to manage their cash flow. If you're worried you might not be able to meet National Insurance, VAT and other tax payments owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), help may be at hand in the form of the Business Payment Support Service.

If you're in the situation where you don't think you'll be able to make payments due, it's important that you don't stick your head in the sand.

By contacting the Business Payment Support Service you may be able to come to a deferral agreement with HMRC that does not put your business under undue financial pressure. The staff on the helpline will review individual circumstances and discuss temporary options tailored to the needs of the business, such as arranging to make payments over a longer period.

Another benefit of contacting the service is that additional late payment penalties on payments included in the arrangement will not be charged, although interest will continue to be payable on those taxes, where it applies.

When to contact the Business Payment Support Service

If you have payments due now or in the near future, the sooner you get in touch, the better. Don't wait until your payment is overdue.

Call 0300 200 3835 to access the helpline. HMRC has stated that, in most cases, it should be able to give you a decision straight away.

For larger payment debts and more complicated cases, it may involve a longer, more detailed discussion. If you have already received a demand or a letter warning of legal action, DO NOT call the helpline. You must immediately contact the HMRC office that issued it instead.

Forum members are protected by insurance for tax investigations. Call us on 0845 130 1722 for more information.

Information you will need to provide

You will need to have the following information to hand:

  • Your tax reference number
  • Details of the tax that you are or will have trouble paying
  • Basic details of your businesses income and outgoings.

We want to hear about your experiences If you decide to contact HMRC's Business Payment Support Service, we would like to hear about your experiences and whether the outcome has helped your business. You can do so by emailing publicaffairs@fpb.org.

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