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I can't pay VAT, I can't pay PAYE!

The company is behind with PAYE and VAT payments! What can we do? could we defer them?

Help if you can't pay VAT or PAYE If your business has tax problems, like PAYE and VAT arrears, then the company is probably insolvent! You must act to do something about this and we will show you how. See our guide to "Is our company insolvent?".

If your business or company has not paid the deductions of PAYE and NIC across to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), then there is a strong possibility HMRC will take action against the business if it can't pay VAT or other taxes.

Basically, it's tax payer's money and the tax collectors are there to collect it. There are no grey areas, just black and white. After all, HMRC has heard every excuse and will know your company is in financial difficulty, or the tax would have already been paid.

The introduction of Real Time Information Systems (RTI) from HMRC (since April 2013), as a way of declaring your company's PAYE, has made it impossible to understate the PAYE liability, in the hope that you can catch up further down the line. If your company is late paying, you will receive penalties in real time as well. See this page for details.

What are the available options for VAT and PAYE arrears?

There are some options for dealing with tax arrears, but many people don't know where to start. We speak to HMRC around 25 times every working day! So, why not call us and we will immediately help solve the tax problems your company has. Options include:

1) Ask for time to pay the debt, or a TTP as we call it, if your company can't pay VAT. HMRC provides a "Business Payment Support Service" (BBPS). Using this service, all SMEs which have cashflow issues and good compliance, should be able to get a Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC. if you need help, why not use our expert programme, or call the HMRC's Payment Support Service on 0300 200 3835?

HMRC will want to know:

  • Your company's tax reference number
  • Your name and/or the name of your business
  • Your/the business's address including the postcode
  • A contact telephone number
  • Details of the tax that you believe your company will have difficulty paying

If you contact this service, you will need to explain why:

  • Your company is unable to pay in full and on time
  • What you have done to try and raise the money to pay the debt
  • How much your company can pay immediately
  • How long you think your company will need to pay the rest
  • Depending on why your company can't pay, what your payment history has been and how long it needs to pay the rest.. HMRC will ask you a number of questions so that they can judge the company's ability to pay this debt via future payments.

Since August 2015, new customers have to make time to pay instalments by Direct Debit. See our news piece for details

2). Ask us, KSA Group, to arrange a time to pay deal if your business can't pay VAT or PAYE. As licensed insolvency practitioners, we are very highly regarded by HMRC and deal with them in offices right across the country. We will need to know all of the above details and also do some financial forecasting work in order to establish what the company can afford to pay back and over what period. Call now for this expert service on 08009700539

3) Consider a company voluntary arrangement (watch the video for more information). This will take the pressure off straight away. We are the UK's leading CVA experts with huge experience of arranging CVA deals with creditors, including HMRC. This allows tax debts to be partially written off. It also allows your company to cut costs, make redundancies and plan a turnaround.

4) Administration or pre pack administration solution. These very powerful techniques can help protect the business assets and sell them to new company or third party. This will protect the company from aggressive legal action by HMRC. 

5) Finally, can you introduce more money into the company to pay the tax debts? Could you raise money from the bank, factoring companies, new investors or Funding Circle, for example?

You can also visit this trading out guide to how to deal informally with the problem. This can avoid formal approaches like voluntary liquidationCVAcompulsory liquidation and administration.

HMRC are getting more aggressive as over 250,000 companies are on some form of payment plan and many are failing to keep up with them. More and more companies are beginning to receive aggressive threats from HMRC

Non-payment of this tax is a failure to comply with the tax legislation and also signifies publicly (loud and clear to HMRC) that the company is insolvent. So, you need to act properly and responsibly by dealing with this serious threat to your company.
If your company needs urgent help - call us now for free on 08009700539 or email our advisors on help@ksagroup.co.uk.
We can help with a time to pay deal or other turnaround options.

Request our FREE 40-page guide for worried directors. Full of tips, advice and FAQs, the guide provides answers to any worry you may have about your business. 

Personal Liability

If the company is insolvent, you could be personally liable for the debts if you continue to trade whist doing nothing about the problems the company faces. Wrongful trading can be a real problem if ongoing tax arrears are building up and the company enters insolvent liquidation. Failure to pay NIC could result in a personal liability notice from HMRC.

So, act carefully, keep notes of any decisions and always write down names of people you speak to at HMRC. Take advice from experts, and above all, act promptly as delay may just lead to more problems for you as directors. If you want to know more about wrongful trading, click here.

Tips for dealing with HMRC or for tax arrears

Don't wait until legal actions have been taken against the company to ask for a Time to Pay deal with HMRC. It is better to ask for help BEFORE arrears build up.

Try to plan the cash flow of the business well in advance. You have a legal obligation to do this! If the directors do not think the company has sufficient cash to trade, they should consider the obligations and plan a way forward.

Don't be too ambitious in planning repayment. Your company will have bad months as well as good, so be careful with the cash flow forecasts. Do you want a free cash flow model? Email keiths@ksagroup.co.uk for advice. 

Worried about legal actions, such as distraint or winding up petitions? Click the links for more information.

Ask for 18 months to pay back PAYE, knowing that you may get 9-12 months at most. Ask for 12 months for VAT and they might accept or offer 6 months.

If your cash flow forecast says the company can be viable, but the business cannot afford a relatively fast repayment programme, then you must consider a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

My company doesn't have a cash flow forecast - can you provide one?


Yes we use a 3-month "rolling cashflow" forecast model.
Download it with all the hard programming work already done for you. All you have to do is enter the payments to creditors on the days you expect to pay and then insert when your customers or factoring company will pay you. The programme then tells you what your cash position will be every day!

If your bank overdraft looks like it is being exceeded, then you can move payments along a few days. This gives you an at-a-glance cash position.

If the company is viable,but insolvent, then a CVA may be the option. A CVA is the most powerful way of dealing with a serious cash flow problem and tax arrears which proves insolvency. HMRC supports well proposed CVAs. You do not have to pay back all of the debt and you can remain in control.

What if you do nothing? This is not an option as it will lead to bailiffs, Sheriffs, Notice of Enforcements and more worry. see here for 'How to deal with Legal Actions'.

Has HMRC issued a winding up petition or threatened to petition against your company because you can't pay VAT or PAYE?

If so, get help now by calling our free helpline or
see this page for more details on dealing with a winding up petition.

Don't wait too long to get professional turnaround help. Call the experts on 08009700539

Author: Keith Steven

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