TAX payments worth more than £500m have been rescheduled by businesses in the East of England since the inception of the Business Payment Support Service 15 months ago. The BPSS, a HM Revenue and Customs scheme, helps business in temporary difficulty to p

TAX payments worth more than £500m have been rescheduled by businesses in the East of England since the inception of the Business Payment Support Service 15 months ago.

The BPSS, a HM Revenue and Customs scheme, helps business in temporary difficulty to pay their taxes by rescheduling their payments in more manageable timetables.

Figures show that 31,700 businesses in the East of England took advantage of the service, arranging new payment timescales for £510m of tax payments.

More than 300,000 time-to-pay arrangements, worth a total of £5.13bn, have been agreed nationwide since November 2008, covering areas like PAYE, National Insurance, VAT and other HMRC taxes.

Stephen Timms, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "It is excellent news that the BPSS continues to provide much needed help to UK businesses.

"The scheme will remain in place as long as necessary; we want to continue to help businesses through the difficulties they are facing.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and have a vital part to play in our economic recovery."

INFORMATION: The BPSS helpline can be contacted on 0845 302 1435 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. For more information visit: www.hmrc.gov.uk/pbr2008/business-payment.htm