More tax help for struggling businesses

Businesses that believe they will make a trading loss in the current tax year can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to take the anticipated loss into account as part of any rescheduling of their corporation tax or income tax payments.

The measure, announced in the Budget, is designed to help viable businesses that are facing difficulties paying their tax bills.

It means that businesses will no longer have to wait for the end of their accounting period, which could be months in the future, to include the loss when working out what they have to pay.

The initiative is managed through HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service (BPSS).

HMRC pointed out that, to qualify for a rescheduling of tax payments, a business must be unable genuinely to pay immediately and must be heading for a trading loss in the current year.

In a separate measure to support businesses with cashflow problems, HMRC said that firms that want to reschedule VAT, PAYE and national insurance contributions, or that have already entered into a time to pay arrangement but have found their circumstances have changed for the worse, can also contact the BPSS for a new or revised time to pay arrangement, depending on their circumstances.

Some 110,000 time to pay arrangements have already been agreed with businesses, worth almost £2 billion in delayed tax payments.

The BPSS can be contacted on 0845 302 1435 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. Further information is available at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pbr2008/business-payment.htm.