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Ending tax relief for small business will send thousands of small companies into administration, the Chancellor is warned today.

The Time to Pay scheme was introduced to help offset the impact of the credit crunch in late 2008. It allows small firms to defer tax payments and has already been used by 200,000 firms which have pushed pause on £5bn in payments to the Inland Revenue.

The numbers come from the Forum of Private Business, which found Time to Pay is the most popular measure with business owners. Its latest poll also found an impressive 60 per cent of respondents believe the Revenue has been supportive in recent months.

Only three per cent of companies complained of difficulties accessing the scheme.

The Forum is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to keep the tax deferral scheme in place despite pressure to make savings in the budget. It said its members understood the need to cut the deficit but the tax scheme remained a lifeline for many firms still struggling to get out of the recession. ®

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