Consultation on proposed business rates changes

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities and HM Treasury have issued a “technical consultation” which sets out how the government intends to give effect to measures arising from the business rates review, the conclusions of which were reported at the Autumn 2021 Budget. The technical consultation covers measures designed to enable more frequent revaluations, together with proposed measures for new rates relief, firstly, for property “improvements” and secondly for investment in green plant and machinery. The changes proposed in the consultation will place significant new burdens on ratepayers, by way of requirements to report changes to properties or to property tenure, and will also impose new restrictions on ratepayer’s rights of appeal. The consultation package contains some measures that will be welcome to ratepayers, but also many that will not. ...Read More

Rating Revaluation in 2023

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, has made a written statement on 21 July, announcing that the next rating revaluation in England will take effect from 1 April 2023, and will be based upon values at 1 April 2021. This revaluation replaces one that was due to take effect from 1 April 2022 based upon property values at 1 April 2019. The government statement says that the change in date will allow the revaluation better to reflect the effects of Covid 19 on property values. ...Read More

Treasury Select Committee report on business rates

The Treasury Select Committee has published its report into the impact of business rates on business. The report’s key finding is that “Business rates have become an increasingly significant proportion of the total taxes borne by business. In response to this report HM Treasury must explain whether it is deliberate government policy to rebalance business taxes in this way and, if so, what this policy decision is intended to achieve”. But the report is not only critical of the level of business rates in the UK, it also has criticism of the complexity of the system and of the new appeals process, known as “Check Challenge Appeal”. ...Read More

Legislation to reverse the “staircase tax”

The Government has announced details of the legislation it proposes to introduce to reverse the effects of the decision of the UK Supreme Court in Woolway (VO) v Mazars LLP (2015) UKSC 53. The proposal to reverse the effects of this court decision, which resulted in properties that had previously been assessed as one for business rates becoming assessed as more than one, was announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement 2017. The Government has now produced a consultation paper setting out how it proposes to reverse the effects of that decision. ...Read More

Rates relief for new fibre optic networks

The Government has published a consultation paper seeking views on new regulations that are intended to grant rates relief to new fibre optic telecommunications networks installed after 1 April 2017. This relief was announced by the Chancellor in the 2017 Budget and will offer 100% relief for a five year period from 1 April 2017. The aim is simple, to encourage investment in new fibre optic networks, but the consultation and the draft regulations show how complex and convoluted are the exemptions and reliefs from business rates. ...Read More

Review of Business Rates in Scotland

Scottish Government has published the Report of the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates in Scotland. The review group was chaired by Ken Barclay, former Chairman of RBS, and spent over a year taking evidence from ratepayers, local authorities and others. Its report makes thirty recommendations, designed to enhance and reform the non-domestic rating system in Scotland. If accepted by Scottish Government some of these reforms could come into effect immediately, whilst others would require new legislation to enable them to be implemented. ...Read More

Business Rates in Wales

Welsh Assembly Government has published proposals for a very limited scheme of transitional adjustments to affect rate liabilities following the 2017 Rating Revaluation. The proposal is designed to help small businesses whose entitlement to small business rate relief may be altered as a result of the forthcoming revaluation. ...Read More

2017 Business Rates multipliers announced

The Government has given its first formal indication of the impact of next year's business rates revaluation - and it is not good news for London, nor for occupiers of larger properties. The announcement also gave details of the Uniform Business Rate multiplier for England for next year, and of a proposed scheme of transitional adjustments to phase in changes in rates liability following the revaluation. ...Read More

New Regulations for Business Rates appeals

There will be major changes to business rates appeals for next year's rating revaluation. The changes are significantly disadvantageous to ratepayers. Despite the Government's claims that the new system will be "easier to navigate, particularly for small businesses", the playing field will not be a level one and the draft regulations contain elements that will cause real concern for many ratepayers. ...Read More