Treasury accused of business rates ‘tax grab’
The Treasury has been accused of a £3bn stealth “tax grab” following its decision to increase estimates for successful business rates appeals. During each revaluation the Government predicts how many firms will appeal their new business rates, to ensure the Treasury is not left out of pocket. In recent years officials predicted around 4% of the amount collected would eventually be paid back after successful appeals, but this year the estimate has increased to 6%. Experts have predicted that the change will net the Treasury an estimated £600m more every year, totalling £3bn over the next five years. A Government spokesman said the claims were misleading, adding that the revaluation of rates “is revenue neutral and helps make sure bills are fair and accurate.” “We’re required by law to set aside funding for businesses who successfully challenge their bills, which ensures that councils do not face a funding shortfall,” they added.