Businesses are being urged to check their records to see if have a claim to a share of £89 million which HMRC has held from a defunct tax deposit scheme.
Millions of pounds are still held in the Certificate of Tax Deposit Scheme and a deadline of Thursday, November 23 has been set to cash in old certificates of tax deposits.
If businesses or individuals do not claim, HMRC will attempt to repay the balance of any certificate at the deadline date, but if they are unable to reach a certificate holder then the balance will be forfeited.
The scheme historically allowed taxpayers to deposit money with HMRC and use the funds later to pay certain tax liabilities. It closed for new purchases in November 2018.
Phil Stevens, Head of Tax at accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, said that it is a surprise that such a significant sum is still held in the scheme and certificate holders should have received letters from HMRC highlighting outstanding balances.
He said that the scheme was largely unused since the early 2010s and some people with money in the scheme may not have received a reminder from HMRC if it does not have a current or correct address for them.
“There was a time where this was a popular way of managing cashflow and offsetting future tax liabilities, however the last time one of my clients used this scheme was probably more than 10 years ago,” he said.
“With the scheme winding down so long ago, that brings its own challenges as some people may not be aware that they still have funds in the scheme.
“It could be a small sum, a few hundred pounds, but the fact that the outstanding balance is a sizeable £89 million means there will be a few large deposits remaining unclaimed.
“It could be that someone has died and it has been missed by the executors of an estate, because in theory any money in this scheme is an asset of the estate.
“Time is running out now for any claimants and we would urge any potential claimants to contact a finance professional to see how much they have in the scheme and assess where it can be used against any tax liabilities or be repaid.
“As it stands we don’t think any of our clients have money left in the scheme, but we would urge businesses and individuals to double check any correspondence from HMRC and their own records.”