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HMRC have ‘no plans’ to change time to pay policy

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The final quarterly release of statistics for HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service shows that 444,400 time to pay arrangements were granted, worth £7.71 billion, in the period November 2008 to the end of June 2011.

Demand for the service has generally declined since its peak in January 2009, HMRC said. In the first half of this year it stood at just over a third of 2009 levels.

HMRC have refused 23,300 requests. ‘The percentage of TTP requests refused in 2009 and 2010 was 2.7% and 6.0% respectively. During the first half of 2011 it is running at 11.8%, albeit on much smaller overall demand for the service,’ the department said, adding that ‘there are no plans to close the BPSS or change HMRC's time to pay policy or approach’.

A Daily Telegraph report has suggested that some tax professionals were unaware that the proposal to halt publication of the statistics was out for consultation.

In a response document published at the end of April, HMRC said: ‘The consultation period was publicised on the BPSS Official Statistics website at the time of the January 2011 release and within the statistical publication. The consultation period ran from 1 February 2011 to 31 March 2011.’

But HMRC revealed that no responses to the consultation were received from members of the public, other external interested parties, public bodies or other non-ministerial government departments.

‘One response was received from HM Treasury and one internal response was received from HMRC which was directly related to HM Treasury’s response.'