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17 August 2009

Chancellor visits Business Payment Support Service HQ in Glasgow: 185,000 UK businesses given more time to pay taxes

Chancellor Alistair Darling will today visit the hub of the HMRC Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) in Cumbernauld, Glasgow to see how the 7-day a week service is performing in its work to support struggling businesses across the UK.

Launched in November 2008, the service has helped over 185,000 UK businesses to spread tax payments totalling £3.3b over a timetable they can afford. In Scotland alone, the service has helped 12,000 businesses to spread tax payments of £214m, including 1,470 businesses in Glasgow and 1,230 in Edinburgh.

The service is staffed by 300 HMRC payment advisers and open seven days a week for businesses who need more time to pay HMRC taxes - including VAT, Corporation Tax, Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (PAYE).

The Chancellor said:

"I’m hugely impressed by the team here at Cumbernauld, who are going the extra mile to ensure struggling businesses get the help they need. It’s vital we do everything we can to support people and businesses through this downturn. This service is giving thousands of businesses across the country more time to manage the pressures they’re facing, and helping to keep many people in work.

“I’ve said to the team today that this service is a key part of the government’s efforts to sustain jobs and get more people back into work faster. It’s vital we do everything we can to support people and businesses through this downturn."

The number for the Business Payment Support Service is 0845 302 1435. Lines are open 8am to 8pm during the week and 8am to 4pm on weekends.

Notes for editors

1. The Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) was launched at the 2008 Pre-Budget Report to offer help to business facing temporary financial difficulties to spread tax payments over a timetable they can afford.

2. Budget 2009 announced that the service would be expanded (from 22 April 2009) to allow businesses facing temporary financial difficulties and expecting to make losses to offset these now against tax bills due on profits from the previous year.

3. Around 60% of arrangements are for periods of three months and below. HMRC monitoring shows that over 90 per cent of expected payments have been received. By 2 August, £2.12bn had been repaid (both in part and in full), leaving £1.18bn still being paid.

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