Financial support for flood-hit areas released

The government has made thousands of pounds available to areas affected by storms Dennis and Ciara with over 100 flood warnings still in place

Financial support for households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding includes 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.

HMRC has said they are well equipped for situations like this and offer support to people facing difficulties due to extreme weather, including renegotiating tax payments.

Small-to-medium sized businesses which have suffered severe, uninsurable losses will be eligible for up to £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant.

Flood-hit homes and businesses can also apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding.

‘Any business worried about paying their tax on time should get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible, including via the payment support service helpline’, an HMRC spokesperson told Accountancy Daily.

‘We will always work with taxpayers to find the best possible solution, based on their specific financial circumstances – such as spreading tax payments over time through a time to pay arrangement.’

The measures apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households.

This comes after the government activated the emergency Bellwin scheme after Storm Ciara on 10 February and Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020.

Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

The scheme operates in affected areas of West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire which have seen significant impacts following Storm Ciara.

It also covers Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire which have seen significant impacts following Storm Dennis.

There are currently six severe flood warnings, 123 flood warnings and 159 flood alerts in place.

The Environment Agency is urging people to check the latest safety advice as flooding impacts continue with further heavy rain expected to fall on areas already affected later this week.

Environment secretary George Eustice said: ‘We have once again seen the devastating effects of floods on households and communities across the country.

‘We know climate change means extreme weather events like this are more likely, and are already investing £2.6bn in flood defences by 2021, with over 600 projects already protecting 200,000 properties.’

HMRC urges taxpayers to call their flooding tax helpline if the flooding has caused a tax problem.

HMRC flooding tax helpline: 0800 904 7900

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