In 2008, the government introduced the ‘time to pay’ scheme. This was to enable businesses to receive a payment plan on outstanding PAYE/NI or VAT. It was implemented to ease the early effects of the recession.
It was a huge success and many businesses applied for payment plans. They did so because they were generally struggling to pay. Also, many businesses did so because it was cheap debt (the interest rate being far lower than a bank loan for example).
After seeing the number of applications to the scheme, the government reined in the applications. Businesses, who previously had relied on receiving a payment plan now were refused and it become increasingly difficult to get them.
If you are in this position and you need to receive some flexibility on payments to HM Revenue & Customs, here are some tips:
1. As a general rule, if you are struggling to pay creditors, the first thing to do is to talk to them. So if the creditor is HMRC then do communicate to them
2. It is always better for your accountant to speak to them. All our services include – dealing with HM Revenue & Customs – we never want our clients to speak to them.
3. Know your numbers – know exactly what tax (VAT, corporation tax, income tax, PAYE/NI) is outstanding and how much (it may not be all outstanding)
4. HMRC will often ask if you have tried to get finance elsewhere (not just banks, but family friends and your own pocket) – have a good answer for this
5. In most cases, they do ask for numbers – profit and loss budgets, cash flow forecasts – so make sure the accountant has this in hand
If you are struggling to pay HM Revenue & Customs and need to negotiate a time to pay scheme, do speak to me on firstname.lastname@example.org. On current records, we have a 100% success rate on obtaining payment plans which dates back to 2008.