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Guy Welfare, Chartered Surveyor

 

Rates Revaluation delay - bad news for Business

The Government’s recent announcement postponing the 2015 business rates revaluation until 2017 is bad news for already struggling businesses worst  hit by the recession, particularly retailers and the pub trade, says Gloucestershire Chartered Surveyor Guy Welfare.

“The decision means businesses will continue to pay rates for a further two years based on property rents in April 2008, when values were close to their peak,” said Guy, a business rates specialist. “The 2015 revaluation would have reflected the large fall in rents over the past few years bringing much needed rates reductions to many businesses.”

“While the Government claims the decision will avoid unexpected hikes in business rates bills over the next five years, in reality it will delay much needed relief to those businesses which have been hit hardest by the recession, in particular retailers and the pub trade,” added Guy.

“I suspect the real reasons may be more closely connected to the likely falls in assessment for many properties, and hence reduction in Government business rates revenues. This announcement reinforces the importance of taking professional advice on minimising business rates liability by appeal or other means,  given it will now be a further 4½  years before the next revaluation.”

The recent budget offered some help to small businesses by extending the previously announced increase in Small Business Rates Relief. The scheme which originally started on 1st October 2010 and was due to end on 30th September 2011 will now be extended for a further year until 30th September 2012.

Businesses with rating assessments below £6,000 are the main beneficiaries as they will have no rates to pay, until  October 2012, the relief being reduced from 50% to 100% for the period. Businesses with Rateable Values between £6,000 and £12,000 will continue to receive a tapered relief between 0 and 100%.

It is important to ensure your business is receiving the benefit of this relief if you are eligible. 

The Chancellor also announced that businesses within the 21 new Enterprise Zones will benefit from a business rates discount. Details are yet to be confirmed.

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