Total amount of corporation tax owed to HMRC up by 15 per cent

The amount of unpaid corporation tax thought to be owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by UK businesses has risen by 15 per cent, according to reports.

The news comes after data revealed that the amount of corporation tax owed rose from £1.59billion to £1.82bn last year. Experts believe that the number is likely to balloon further by the end of the 2016/17 tax year.

Research suggests that an increasing number of businesses could be struggling to pay their tax bills – and could face late payment penalties or even asset seizures as a result of this.

In recent months, HMRC has begun introducing increasingly aggressive methods of collecting overdue tax – which, in some cases, may include sending debt collectors out to business premises in person.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with volatile cash flows could be particularly at risk, according to reports.

A separate study carried out by Bacs recently found that an increasing number of SMEs are facing problems with late payments – and that the average business is owed approximately £26.3bn from clients and customers.

Bacs found that 29 per cent of SMEs are turning towards costly overdrafts and a further 19 per cent are turning towards salary sacrifices at director level in order to make up the shortfall.