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VAT: Small Businesses

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses have applied to defer their VAT payments in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many such applications have been granted. (244066)

I am able to provide data on cases handled by the new Business Payment Support Service. The information requested is not available for HMRC as a whole.

As part of a substantial package of support the Chancellor announced in PBR that HMRC had introduced a new Business Payment Support Service. Businesses in temporary financial difficulty will be offered a fast and streamlined service for arranging to pay their HMRC tax bill to a timetable they can afford.

The service has been up and running for just under three weeks. To 11 December, the service has taken over 15,000 calls and agreed over 6,200 time to pay arrangements worth over £108 million. Almost 60 per cent. of the cases relate to businesses being granted time to pay VAT debts worth over £71 million.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects on small businesses of administering the temporary change to the rate of value added tax announced in the pre-Budget report. (244976)

The impact assessment for the temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT can be found on the HM Treasury website at

This contains the small firms impact test.