‘Time to Pay’ tax scheme must stay

Published:  21 June, 2010

KNUTSFORD: The ‘Time to Pay’ tax scheme must be preserved in this week's Budget, or thousands of small firms struggling to manage tax payments could be forced into administration, the Forum of Private Business is warning.

Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents to Economy Watch note a recent increase in their tax burden. Further information from a range of organisations, including accountants and finance specialists, suggest that the rate of approved applications under the scheme is shrinking, particularly for firms owing larger sums of money, and that businesses are being given less time to defer payments.

However, despite the UK limping out of recession the need for the support service remains widespread. Out of businesses requiring support in the near future, 38% anticipate needing help to meet their tax payments.

“The Business Payment Support Scheme remains a real lifeline for many small firms struggling with cash flow and this will be the case for a while. Now is not the time for it to go,” said the Forum’s head of campaigns Jane Bennett. “Re-balancing the economy is clearly a major priority but sacrificing genuine support like this will only jeopardise small businesses and hinder sustained recovery. The message is clear – it is important to preserve ‘time to pay’ and other viable small business support schemes in the Budget.”

Tuesday’s Budget is expected to herald a range of measures on tax and public spending to tackle the record deficit, sparking fears among small businesses that they could suffer.

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