23
May

Can’t afford to pay your tax bill?

HMRC understands that taxpayers will sometimes experience difficulties with paying their tax bill and stress that taxpayers should make contact with them as soon as they realise that there is a problem. This is good advice as burying your head in the sand will only make matters worse.

Taxpayers should contact the Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) for practical advice and guidance. The BPSS was first launched back in 2008 and is available to all taxpayers (not just businesses). The purpose of the service is to provide support to those experiencing a wide range of tax problems.

The service offered by the BPSS depend on individual circumstances but could include:

  • agreeing instalment arrangements if you’re unable to pay your tax on time
  • suspending any debt collection proceedings
  • reviewing penalties for missing statutory deadlines
  • reducing any payments on account
  • agreeing to defer payments due to short-term cash flow difficulties

Any taxpayers that are having difficulties making VAT, Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions, Corporation Tax, and pay as you earn payments can contact the BPSS helpline on 0300 200 3835.

The BPSS will review the issues raised and look sympathetically at providing a practical solution. HMRC will not usually charge additional late payment surcharges in relation to specific arrangements made using the BPSS.

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Company van use – the tax consequences

There are a number of tax consequences to be aware when employees are provided with company vans and fuel. A company van can be defined as a van made available to an employee by reason of their employment. There is usually nothing to report to HMRC if the van is used solely for business journeys, as a pool van or for vans provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. If the van is not exempt then employers must report the cost on form P11D and pay Class 1A National Insurance on the value of the benefit.

Where the private use of a company van is ‘insignificant’, no tax is payable. The definition of insignificant is quite rigid and only applies where private use is exceptional, intermittent, irregular and lasts for short periods of time or happens on odd occasions throughout the year. Examples might include making a detour to drop children to school or using the company van occasionally to take rubbish to the tip.

Where a company van is used for private journeys there is a standard benefit charge for the private use of a company van of

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