I rang the business payment support line today on behalf of a client. There are genuine exenuating circumstances why the corporation tax cannot be paid on time, but I was told that it is now policy that if the director(s) have taken ANY dividends or bonuses, they will not enter into any time to pay arrangements at all.
This is the first time I have heard of this, and it has me a bit worried because many of our clients draw remuneration as dividends rather than salaries. In the case I had today, the client had been careful to leave enough cash in the company after drawing his dividends to pay the CT, but unfortunately an unforeseen situation meant that he could not use that money to pay the tax as planned. Despite this careful planning, the mere fact that he had paid a dividend at all was enough to mean he could not get any flexibility from HMRC.
Does anyone else know anything about this? Is it a new policy? And should it change the advice we give to certain clients about dividends v salary?