HMRC urges taxpayers affected by flood to get in touch

Business owners affected by flooding should contact HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service (BPPS) for help with tax problems, while BEIS is offering help through business recovery grants

At the same time, households and business owners significantly affected by recent flooding will have immediate relief on their council tax and business rates, the government has announced. They will be eligible for 100% relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next three months.

The measure was announced following the first meeting of the cross-Whitehall flood recovery taskforce, chaired by local government secretary Robert Jenrick. 

This comes after the Met Office issued a warning that there could be a danger to life in parts of the East Midlands and Yorkshire that are still recovering from floods which began last week.

People affected by flooding should contact the HMRC BPPS service, it supports customers by offering practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems, providing a fast and sympathetic route to agreeing the best way forward and addressing immediate concerns with solutions.

The service supports customers across all sectors and customer types, from the self employed through to the largest businesses.

The helpline can support taxpayers by suspending debt collection proceedings, reviewing penalties for missing statutory deadlines and agreeing to defer payments due to short-term cash flow difficulties.

An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘Anyone worried about paying their tax on time should get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible, including via the Business Payment Support Service helpline.

‘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.’

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is also providing funding for a business recovery grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

Farmers will also be able to access grants to cover damage from flooding. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has extended its farming recovery fund. Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs.

The Environment Agency (EA), emergency responders and local authorities are currently helping to protect people and properties following the flooding in: Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

There are currently 57 flood warnings and 137 flood alerts in place and there is increased predicted rainfall over parts of the country.

In preparation approximately 14,400 properties have been protected by flood defences, including nearly 5,000 properties in South Yorkshire.

So far 38 pumps have been set up across South Yorkshire at eight separate locations in the Fishlake area, moving 50m litres of water per hour to help protect homes and businesses.

The pumps have removed 1.25m tonnes of water in the past 24 hours and this has helped to reduce water levels in the village from two metres to 0.3 metres - a decrease of 85%.

The Met Office has also issued further warnings for snow in parts of south Wales and south west England between Bath, Oxford and Worcester, rain further to the south east in England, including London, and in the East Midlands and ice in eastern coastal regions of Scotland, from Kelso north to Elgin.

Taxpayers in need of advice should have their unique taxpayer reference and national insurance number ready before calling the helpline.

BPPS helpline: 0300 200 3835.

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