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Abolition of Time to Pay jeopardises SMEs

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Time to Pay could soon face the axe, as HMRC takes steps to wind down the scheme.

Time to Pay has allowed firms to spread tax payments over several stages – which has been particularly helpful to SMEs, allowing them to smooth out quarterly VAT payments. 

But the latest stats from HMRC show that the taxman is only granting Time to Pay at a third of the level in 2009. This is because HMRC has made it clear that they will not allow repeat applications. Furthermore, HMRC has indicated that it will no longer publish statistics on Time to Pay, further threatening the survival of the scheme.

This is bad news for SMEs, and could not come at a worse time. Just as the economy is looking to small businesses to help pull the country out of the slump, removal of Time to Pay will make it harder – not easier – for SMEs to stay above board.

Chris Scanlon, of UK Business Advisors, says the news is a “cause for concern”. He adds: “We need to keep Time to Pay in place as a way of helping business through these very turbulent times.”

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