Business Finance for Tax or VAT bills

Most businesses will need finance at some point, whether it’s to fund expensive purchases and large stock orders or to plug short-term gaps in their cashflow.

You can also use business finance to pay your tax or VAT bills. Tax for businesses can be a major expense, but borrowing money so you can spread the cost could help.

This guide will help you to understand your options when it comes to finding finance for tax and VAT bills.

What bills does your businesses have to pay?

Running a small business comes with its fair share of costs. To avoid falling into debt, you should keep on top of what bills your business has to pay, when to pay them, and how. These are just some of the common bills you need to be aware of:

  • VAT - Value Added Tax (VAT) is paid by any company in the UK with an annual turnover of more than £85,000. However, you can register for VAT even if your revenue is below that threshold. VAT is paid quarterly to HMRC.
  • Corporation tax - This is a tax paid by all businesses in the UK on their profits. It is currently charged at 19% on total profits, but the government has indicated that it hopes to cut this rate. Corporation tax must be paid within nine months of your company’s financial year end.
  • Payroll - Your company payroll is the sum of all your staff wages and tends to be a monthly expense.
  • Rent - Unless you own your business premises, you will have to pay rent to your landlord. Most landlords will charge monthly rent, though you could agree quarterly or annual payments.
  • Other unforeseen bills - All businesses incur other regular costs, some of which can result in yet more monthly bills. For example, this will apply if you have hired some of your equipment or bought it on a finance deal.

What to do if you can’t pay your VAT

If you can’t pay your quarterly VAT bill, there are options available to you. 

HMRC will allow some companies to pay off their tax arrears through a series of monthly payments, as part of a ‘Time To Pay’ arrangement (TTP). However, you will only be allowed to set up a TTP if HMRC believes your company will ultimately pay off its debt in full, and even then it will last for a maximum of 12 months.

If you cannot secure a TTP, then you might want to consider a business finance arrangement to cover your costs in the short term. A tax finance deal - or tax advance loan - is a type of loan that can be taken out to spread the cost of your tax over several months. 

VAT finance is just one type of tax advance loan and may be available to your business if you can’t afford your VAT bill. 

What happens if you can’t pay your income tax bill

Just as with an unpaid VAT bill, HMRC may be able to offer a TTP arrangement if you can’t afford your income tax bill. But again, these are discretionary and will not be offered in every circumstance.

If you need help paying your taxes - any sort of taxes - then you can contact Citizens Advice for impartial, practical advice on what steps are available to you.

Taking out a short-term loan to finance a tax bill is an option for most UK businesses. Business finance loans are designed to help you pay your tax bill, but these may not be suitable for every business nor every situation. 

What to do if you can’t pay your corporation tax 

If you are a limited company and cannot pay your corporation tax, the first thing to do is to contact HMRC. Corporation tax is due nine months and one day after your company’s tax year comes to an end, so the quicker you let HMRC know you cannot pay it, the more likely they are to help you find a solution.

For those worried about the timescale for paying corporation tax, it could be that a tax finance loan is the way to go. Tax loans are a type of business finance that helps cover short-term cashflow issues when your tax bill is due. However, this type of financing may not be suitable for a business that is concerned about ever being able to pay an outstanding tax bill.

How to finance your VAT and tax bill or VAT and tax arrears

There are plenty of ways a business can fund a tax bill or any other HMRC debt, and a tax bill loan is one of the most common. 

It is relatively straightforward to get a tax loan for VAT funding. Most lenders will give you an answer very quickly after your initial application to help you avoid late payment fees.

As with any business financing, how much you can borrow will depend on things like the size and turnover of your company, how large your tax bill is, what sector you work in, and how well established your business is. 

If you cannot access finance for your HMRC debts, there may still be other tax bill payment options available to you. You may be able to negotiate with HMRC over a VAT delayed payment, for example, especially if you are able to pay some of the debt immediately.

What business loans are available for business tax or VAT bills?

If you are worried about paying your taxes late or fretting over the possibility of a missed VAT payment, there are still solutions to help keep your finances on track even if you are certain you can’t pay your tax bill on time.

More and more lenders are offering short-term business loans to help those struggling to pay their taxes. Some of these are even offered on an unsecured basis. 

You can apply for a VAT or other tax loan quickly and easily, getting a quote within days. And even if that’s not the right option for your business, other financing deals are available. You may be able to arrange a bridging loan with your bank or a business overdraft.

As with all business financing options, shop around and seek expert advice wherever possible.

Why use Bionic for business finance?

At Bionic, we know business finance inside out. Our team of experts can find you the right type of financing for whatever situation you find yourself in, whether you are unable to pay your VAT or any other tax bill.

Using our sophisticated, market leading technology, we will scour offers from hundreds of lenders and get you the best deal available to help you keep your business going.