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Is HMRC clamping down on time to pay requests?

HMRC refused a growing number of requests to defer business tax payments under the Time to Pay scheme last year.

Figures have revealed that HMRC turned down 5.8 per cent of all applications from firms, struggling with cash flow problems, to reschedule their VAT, PAYE and corporation tax payments. In 2009, the refusal rate was 2.7 per cent.

Time to Pay agreements allow businesses that are finding it difficult to manage their tax liabilities, as a result of the economic downturn, to arrange a new tax payment timetable with HMRC.

There have been concerns that HMRC is winding down the scheme. But a spokesman for the tax authority said: “Time to Pay continues to be available to help companies address short term cash flow difficulties that result in an inability to pay their tax in full and on time. HMRC’s criteria for agreeing arrangements have not changed in any way.”

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