Balancing tax and benefit cuts

A Time to Pay Arrangement may help relieve HMRC pressure

Many businesses find themselves with tax arrears. Very few companies set out with the intention of building up tax arrears, but if the business suffers a setback, perhaps a bad debt, it has an immediate affect on cash flow.

In order to keep trading a business needs to cover essential payments, such as vital suppliers, the rent, staff wages and utility bills. Often the result is that tax payments fall behind.

If you are in this situation, perhaps falling behind on paying corporation tax, income tax, PAYE or VAT, there is a way where you can relieve the pressure on your company’s debts – through the HMRC Time to Pay (TTP) Arrangement.

The Time to Pay Arrangement is a government initiative designed to help businesses by allowing extra time to pay outstanding tax liabilities.

Under the terms of a Time to Pay Arrangement, if you are self-employed, or manage a business which has cash flow problems and are unable to pay your tax, HMRC will permit you to pay the liability over a period of time generally between six and 12 months.

A Time to Pay Arrangement is available to any business. You may be operating as a sole trader, a traditional partnership, a limited company, a limited liability partnership (LLP) or any other form of association.

Our long standing relationships with HMRC mean we are well placed to act on your behalf with the department’s Business Payment Support Service.

The tax authorities need to be convinced your business has a reasonable chance of being able to meet the promised payments. They consider a number of factors including the nature of your business and its historical performance. They usually ask for details of how the repayments will be made and may ask for documentation to support the request such as financial projections for the repayment period.

They also look at your track record with them. Adverse factors which may go against your request could include late submission of previous returns and failure to respond to correspondence.

The costs depend on the complexity of the case, which in turn is frequently related to the amount involved. Whatever the situation we provide a fixed price quote for you once we have more information. Any initial meeting conducted with you will be free of charge.

There are also circumstances where an existing Time to Pay Arrangement is coming to the end of its life but has not been fully repaid. We can also help you with that. We still negotiate with HMRC on your behalf to extend the arrangement or reschedule it.

Even if HMRC does not agree to a Time to Pay Arrangement, there are other alternatives to consider and discuss.

Our prime objective is to help preserve the business. So if the Time to Pay Arrangement is disallowed we may be able to help you by raising finance to repay the arrears. It may be an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, a Partnership Voluntary Arrangement or a Company Voluntary Arrangement is the answer.

These involve a payment scheme with all your unsecured Creditors, including HMRC, over a longer period, often up to five years and will often involve your Creditors accepting less than full repayment. Should a Voluntary Arrangement not be arranged we can also discuss what other alternatives are available.

If a Time to Pay arrangement looks like it might be the key to ending your stressful times with tax arrears then speak to one of our Licensed Insolvency Practitioners on 0800 901 2475 for free and confidential advice.

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