Restrictions on business rates appeals become law

The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Act 2021 received the Royal Assent on 15 December 2021. The non-domestic rating section of this Act is enacted to provide that matters attributable to coronavirus that may not be taken account of in determining rateable values for the current rating lists. The purpose of the Act is effectively to quash appeals made against current rateable values for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions associated with the pandemic. The non-domestic rating section of the Act relates to both England and Wales and has retrospective, as well as current, effect. ...Read More

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

Autumn Budget 2021

The Chancellor has announced a freeze in the business rates multiplier in England for 2022/23, as part of his Autumn Budget statement. He has also announced a limited extension to current COVID-related business rate reliefs for next year. But the “Fundamental Review” of business rates, announced by the Government in its Spring Budget 2020, has been reduced to a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. The outcomes suggest it should now be considered as “The Review, formerly known as Fundamental”… ...Read More

COVID-19 “material change” business rates appeals to be quashed

The Government has announced that it will introduce legislation to “rule out” business rates appeals made seeking reductions in assessment because of any “material change of circumstances” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, an additional £1.5 billion of support will be made available to businesses affected by the pandemic that have not, so far, been eligible for business rates relief. The additional relief will be made available through local authorities, on application by affected ratepayers. Applications will commence only once the legislation to suppress appeals is in place. ...Read More

Budget 2021 – limited extension of business rates reliefs

In his 2021 Budget, the Chancellor has announced a limited extension to business rates holiday that has been in place since 1 April 2020. Qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure, properties will continue to receive 100% rates relief for the period April to June 2021. From June 2021, relief will continue at 66% for the rest of the 2021-22 rate year, but will be capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. ...Read More

Review of Business Rates is delayed

The publication of the Government’s final report on the fundamental review of business rates has now been delayed until Autumn 2021. The review was announced by the Chancellor in the Spring Budget of 2020 and was originally due to publish a final report in time for the 2020 Autumn Statement. When that Autumn Statement was scrapped because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, publication of the final report of this review was postponed until Spring 2021. It has now been postponed further to Autumn 2021 ”when there is more economic certainty”. ...Read More

Freeze in Uniform Business Rate multipliers for 2021/22 confirmed

The Local Government Finance Act 1988 (Non-Domestic Rating Multipliers) (England) Order 2021 confirms that the Uniform Business Rate multiplier for 2021/20 in England will be frozen at it current level of 49.9 pence. The Order confirms an announcement made as part of the Autumn Statement last year, but will offer little real assistance to ratepayers struggling under the burden of the current lockdown in England ...Read More

Business rates multiplier frozen for 2021/22

As part of the announcements made in support of the Chancellor’s spending review, HM Treasury has confirmed that the business rates multiplier for 2021/22 will remain frozen at its current level in England, and will not increase in line with inflation. There will be further announcements later regarding addition business rates reliefs for 2021/22, to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ...Read More

September 2020 CPI figures

The September 2020 Consumer Prices' Index (CPI) figures have been published, and shows a 0.5% increase over previous year. This sets the upper limit for any increase in the Uniform Business Rates (UBR) for next rate year, 2021/22. In normal times next year's UBR would follow the increase in CPI. Ministers will have to consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the inflation figures, when setting the UBR for next year. Business will want some certainty on this at the earliest possible opportunity. ...Read More

Rating revaluation in Scotland postponed to 2023

The Scottish Government has published its “Programme for Scotland 2020-2021” which includes an announcement that the rating revaluation that was due to take effect in Scotland from 1 April 2022 has been postponed to 1 April 2023, and will be based on property values at 1 April 2022. The Scottish Government’s move realigns the revaluation date in Scotland with those in England and Wales, but bases its valuations on property values at 1 April 2022, rather than on 1 April 2021 as in England and Wales. ...Read More