The UK tax body HMRC is offering support for businesses that have been affected by the liquidation of construction firm Carillion.
HMRC is providing advice and guidance via its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS). If a business is unable to pay its tax on time following the Carillion collapse, BPSS will be able to agree instalment arrangements. It could also:
- Suspend any debt collection proceedings;
- Review penalties for missing deadlines;
- Reduce any payments on account;
- Agree to defer payments due to short-term cashflow difficulties.
HMRC has also said it will provide workers and their families with cash support through the Tax Credits system. The BPSS service is open seven days a week between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, closing at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Experts have warned that the Carillion collapse could damage suppliers from sectors outside the construction industry. Greg Palfrey, national head of restructuring and recovery at Smith & Williamson, said: "Carillion was too big for the effects not to be far reaching, the very nature of its business means it will impact various and diverse sector groups. The collapse of Carillion is causing much distress in the construction sector but the effects could be much wider reaching."
Businesses that think they could be affected need to act fast, he said. "It's the domino effect and we see it every time a big business suffers. Businesses need to think beyond their direct exposure to Carillion and look into their own customer base and supply chain to find those risks. Rapid action now could help mitigate losses and identify problems while there is a better chance of finding a more constructive solution."
Freelance body IPSE has warned that the Carillion collapse could affect thousands of self-employed people in the UK. Tom Purvis, IPSE's political and economic adviser, said: "With 800,000 self-employed people working in the UK construction industry, there is particular concern about what Carillion's liquidation will mean for their self-employed contractors.
"In fact, the construction sector accounts for one in six of all self-employed people, and many of them will be affected by Carillion's demise. It is essential these people are considered in the aftermath of the company's liquidation."