Readers affected by the recent floods, particularly in the north-west of England, should take note that HMRC has created a support line. If your business was affected you should call HMRC as they will be sympathetic to requests to extend tax payments while the clean-up operation continues.

The helpline will enable anyone affected to get practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems they may be facing. This includes the following issues:

  • agree instalment arrangements where taxpayers are unable to pay as a result of the floods
  • agree a practical approach when individuals and businesses have lost vital records to the floods
  • suspend debt collection proceedings for those affected by the floods
  • cancel penalties when the taxpayer has missed statutory deadlines

The helpline is in addition to other HMRC telephone contact numbers.

The helpline is 0800 904 7900. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, excluding bank holidays.

Advice has also been posted by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on insurance claims processes. They say claimants should:

  • Contact their insurer or insurance broker and inform them before conducting any emergency repairs
  • Leave dangerous work such as fixing the roof to professionals
  • Turn the power off, if safe, in a flooded home
  • Ensure homes are safe and secure before leaving to prevent further loss
  • Keep damaged items for evidence of a claim, including samples and photos of carpets, and receipts for any emergency work
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