Time To Pay refusal rate hits new peak
New HMRC figures show a dramatic increase in the Time To Pay (TTP) refusal rate, alongside a drop in demand and ongoing concerns about the way the service operates.
The percentage of TTP requests refused during the first quarter of 2011 ws 9.3%, compared with 2009 and 2010 when the refusal rate was just 2.7% and 6% respectively.
The official figures for the first quarter of 2011 also reveal a decrease in demand driven mainly by the economic downturn. HMRC notes that there are regular peaks in demand associated with payment deadlines across all tax regimes, but that the underlying trend is a decrease in demand. Comparing the first quarter of each year since its inception, demand for the Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) in 2011 is currently at 40% of that observed during 2009 and 61% in 2010.
HMRC continues to play down the suggestion there’s been any tightening of criteria, despite arguments to the contrary from within the accountancy community in recent months. Earlier this year AccountingWEB.co.uk members and business groups provided evidence of this harder line approach.
More recently the HMRC Working Together e-group discussed practical restrictions on getting agreements arranged. Several group members suggested that HMRC resourcing has been a major hurdle, in particular with problems getting through to the right people.