HMRC extends business cash flow help

From 22 April 2009, any viable business anticipating making a trading loss in the current tax year will be able to have the anticipated loss taken into account as part of any rescheduling of its Corporation Tax or Income Tax payments.

This new measure means businesses will no longer have to wait for the end of their accounting period - which may be months ahead - to have the loss taken into account in calculating what they have to pay.

This new business support initiative will be administered by the existing HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Business Payment Support Service (BPSS).

1. This new support will enable HMRC to agree an extended time to pay arrangement on the previous year's corporation tax and/or income tax if:

  • The business is genuinely unable to pay immediately or enter into a reasonable instalment time to pay agreement; and
  • The business is likely to make a trading loss in the current year.
2. Separate to this measure, businesses who wish to reschedule VAT, PAYE and national insurance contributions or who 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 individual circumstances.

3. The BPSS was announced by the Chancellor in his Pre-Budget Report of 24 November 2008.

4. By 19 April 2009, over 110,000 time to pay arrangements had been reached with businesses across the UK, worth almost £2 billion in tax payments deferred. The majority of businesses have agreed repayment timetables spread across 3 to 6 months.

5. Businesses can call HMRC and in the majority of cases get a decision within 10 minutes on the help they can receive.

6. 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: