The government has promised hospitality and catering businesses affected by the recent flooding that they will be given help with tax payments. Pubs, restaurants and hotels that are suffering severe hardship because of the floods will be allowed to defer payment of taxes or duties, or agree installment arrangements. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that will waive interest, surcharges and penalties for customers during the deferred tax period. It will also suspend debt collection proceedings and defer compliance checks and investigations. Jane Kennedy, HMRC minister, said: “I want to ensure that people affected by the flooding do not have to worry about tax or their tax credit award at this difficult time. “Where individuals or businesses are affected by the flooding, I would ask them to get in touch with HMRC who will be able to offer practical help. “I hope that, by offering this help now and the reassurance that HMRC will back-date their help, we can ease some of the anxiety that is affecting so many people and business.” The British Hospitality Association (BHA), which has been campaigning for a six-month moratorium on national insurance and VAT payments for flood hit hospitality firms, has welcomed the move. Bob Cotton, chief executive of the BHA, said: “I’m delighted that they have responded so quickly. “It matters so much to our sector because we have no input VAT, all the bill is output. If you have any other business you have a lot of input VAT.”