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Drop in time-to-pay agreements

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There has been a decline in the numbers of agreements made between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and firms under the Business Payment Support Service scheme.

The time-to-pay scheme was set up at the height of the recession to enable businesses that were struggling to meet corporation tax, income tax and VAT demands. Firms that reached an agreement with HMRC are granted additional time in which to make payments.

The latest data, however, reveals a fall in applications for tax deferrals.

In the first three quarters of 2009, there were 196,200 agreements made as part of the scheme. The same period in 2010 saw 114,600 similar arrangements.

The agreements for 2010 amounted to £1.9 billion in delayed tax payments; in 2009 that figure was £3.4 billion.

But there has been an increase in the proportion of applications that has been refused by HMRC.

In the first three quarters of 2009, 2.6 per cent of applications were turned down. In the first three quarters of 2010, the refusal rate stood at 5.2 per cent.

How many of this year’s applications were repeat requests is not known.