UK independent financier Syscap has seen an upsurge in demand
for tax funding, a sign that businesses are still struggling to
fund their tax bills.

The lessor, which specialises in IT finance
and tailored financial solutions for the professions sector, had
156 requests for tax funding in the April-July period this year – a
132 percent increase from the 67 requests received in the same
period one year ago.

According to Syscap, the growing reluctance of
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to approve deferred payment of tax
under its ‘Time to pay’ taxation scheme has contributed to the
surge in funding requests.

Syscap CEO Philip White said: “This dramatic
rise in demand for funding is stark evidence of how difficult
businesses are finding it to finance their tax bills.

“The feedback we have been getting from
customers is that HMRC has been gradually tightening the screws on
its ‘Time to pay’ scheme. They are telling us that HMRC is becoming
much more reluctant to approve payment plans.”

According to the leasing company,
customers have reported that HMRC has made significant changes to
the structure of the scheme, including offering payment deferral
plans of between three and six months – when last year 12 month
plans were widely available.

It said that at least 24 approaches have been
from businesses seeking funding of £250,000 or more for tax
payments, as opposed to just seven between April 1 and July 31 last

White said: “For some months we have been
calling on the Government to clarify its future plans for the ‘Time
to pay’ scheme. Businesses deserve to know whether the scheme is
going to continue to support them or not, especially in the face of
evidence which suggests that HMRC is now shifting the

Antonio Fabrizio