Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Monday 9 August 2010 at 17:05:00

The taxman is considering whether to stop revealing details of Time to Pay(TTP) statistics in the future


HM Revenue & Customs is reviewing the release of statistical informationon Time to Pay arrangements.

While HMRC is reviewing its position, it has postponed the release of any TTPdata.

TTP, also known as Business Payment Support Service arrangements, allowsbusinesses to defer tax payments to the Revenue.

Colin Howe, president of the UK200Group, said he would be "very concerned"if this was the case.

Howe explained that Vince Cable, speaking at a recent Institute of Directorsevent, said his department's instructions to HMRC was to still make it "easy"for applicants to receive TTP arrangements.

"This contrasts with the experience of most practitioners; if stats aren'tpublished we'll never know," said Howe.

Richard Mannion, national head of tax at Smith & Williamson, said themessage from HMRC is that TTP works and this latest announcement "doesn't quitetie-up".

Mannion offers the explanation that spending cuts could be the reason behindthe review.

An HMRC spokesman said it was currently "considering the release ofstatistics" for TTP.

He added: "Until such a review is completed HMRC is unable to providestatistical information for the BPSS."

The HMRC spokesman was unable to give an indication as to how long the reviewwould last.

HMRC revealed in March this year it allowed businesses to defer 5.13bn worthof taxes by setting up 300,000 TTPs in its first 15 months.

Alistair Darling gave the go-ahead in his final budget, earlier this year, toextend the availability of TTP arrangements to 2015.

Further reading:

HMRC'stime-to-pay scheme tops 5bn

Privatebusinesses call for Time to Pay increase

Firmson HMRC's Time to Pay approval panel revealed