Companies face tax crisis

AN increasing number of businesses are struggling to pay their tax bills after new figures show a growing number are using credit cards to make their payments.

During 2005 and 2006 businesses made 6,083 credit card payments to HM Revenue and Customs for PAYE, corporation and personal tax bills.

In the financial year ending 31 March, 2010, there were 365,221 transactions, data shows.

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The credit card payments in 2005 to 2006 totalled more than £2 million and in 2009 to 2010 it increased to just under £486m, said the Ashworth Law firm, which conducted a Freedom of Information request to collate the data.

The company said that the figures show the “true extent” of the financial crisis facing struggling businesses.

Ashworth Law joint chief executive Mathew Cobley said: “Debts pose a serious threat to the future success of many businesses – with cash flow increasingly becoming the biggest problem.

“If the Inland Revenue didn’t accept credit card payments, then I am confident we would see a lot more businesses going to the wall.”

“This and the Time to Pay scheme are real lifelines,” he added.

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