The government's Cobra emergency committee has agreed that households and businesses affected by the severe weather and flooding in Cumbria and Lancashire will be given relief from council tax and business rates.  

Details of who will qualify for the relief and how long the waiver will last are still being worked out.

HMRC have also opened a new telephone helpline to enable anyone affected to get practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems they may be facing.

HM Revenue and Customs have confirmed that they will
  • agree instalment arrangements where taxpayers are unable to pay as a result of the floods
  • agree a practical approach when individuals and businesses have lost vital records to the floods
  • suspend debt collection proceedings for those affected by the floods
  • cancel penalties when the taxpayer has missed statutory deadlines

The helpline number is 0800 904 7900, and opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, excluding bank holidays.