Budget: Time To Pay scheme extension critical for small businesses – if HMRC agrees deals quickly

Publications that covered this story include: This Is Money

The Government’s announcement of an extension of the Time To Pay (TTP) scheme in the Budget will be critical for SMEs across the UK – but only if HMRC agrees arrangements with businesses quickly, says UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced that the extension of TTP will include 2,000 new call centre staff to arrange deals with businesses to delay tax payments.

Richard Lloyd-Warne, corporate tax partner at our London office comments: “A lot of SMEs have seen their cash flow start to tighten in recent weeks. The extension to Time To Pay could be vital to make sure they get through the Coronavirus crisis unscathed, but only if HMRC can make deals with businesses quickly.”

“The most important thing the Government can do is to implement the TTP extension quickly, with a minimum of red tape and bureaucracy. If Coronavirus really hits the UK hard, businesses will need to get extensions on their tax bills in days, not weeks or months.”

The extension of TTP could help businesses struggling to pay their tax bills as the Business Payment Support Service did in the last Credit Crunch.

Announced in the 2008 Budget, the Business Payment Support Service provided £6.4bn in tax deferments to businesses struggling with cash flow due to the Credit Crunch between 2008 and 2010.

At the end of 2019, 624,000 taxpayers had Time To Pay arrangements in place with HMRC, down from 681,000 six months earlier.