A Brighton MP is urging the taxman to help local businesses by issuing VAT numbers more quickly.
Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, said his concern follows a plea for help from a small businessman in his constituency.
The man was told by Revenue and Customs that he would have to wait up to 12 weeks for a VAT number.
He is asking George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has met the chief executive of Revenue and Customs to discuss the delays.
Without a VAT number, Mr Kirby said, businesses cannot bill customers for payment. This damages their cash flow, adds to their costs and puts jobs at risk.
Mr Kirby said that he had been told that the delay was due to the need for Revenue and Customs to look more closely at applications because of past fraudulent attempts to gain VAT numbers.
He said: “While I understand the need for security, the Government’s policy of encouraging small and new businesses needs to be remembered.
“When Parliament resumes shortly, I shall be asking the Chancellor if this matter has been discussed and what steps are being taken to improve the position for new businesses.”
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