BUSINESSES having problems paying tax bills should apply to delay payment through a system set up by HM Revenue & Customs, advise Huntingdon-based chartered accountants Haines Watts. Manager Simon Laskey said: All taxpayers can apply to HM Revenue & Cust

BUSINESSES having problems paying tax bills should apply to delay payment through a system set up by HM Revenue & Customs, advise Huntingdon-based chartered accountants Haines Watts.

Manager Simon Laskey said: "All taxpayers can apply to HM Revenue & Customs for more time to clear their dues if they are unable to pay their tax on time through the Business Payment Support Service. The BPSS is authorised to extend payment of tax due, taking into account any trading losses in the current year, which may be set off against previous year's tax."

The amount of tax deferred under this scheme, which was launched in November 2008, has now reached £3billion. Many businesses took advantage of delaying payment of tax due on July 31 2009, the date when the second payment on account for the current tax year fell due, and surcharges are otherwise charged for late payment.

Mr Laskey added: "Ideally, taxpayers should contact the support line before the tax is due. In this way it is possible to avoid surcharges. Unfortunately, interest is always charged. And anyone needing an estimation of current year losses should speak to an accountant as soon as possible to make the most of the help that is available.