Business rates reform
The Autumn Statement 2013 announced a range of measures to restrict business rates bills from April 2014. These were largely temporary measures – a 2% cap to the annual inflation increase; a £1,000 discount for certain retail properties with rateable values less than £50,000; a 50% bill discount for 18 months, for businesses occupying retail property that has been empty for at least a year; and continuation of the existing doubling of small business rate relief on certain properties.
The Autumn Statement 2014 extended these measures for a further year from April 2015 (with the £1,000 discount increased to £1,500).
The Government also had in 2014 consultation on reform of business rates administration say Harris & Co chartered accountants Northampton.
The Government’s update on the 2014 consultation in Summer Budget 2015 indicated that more discussion with stakeholders was required, but that improvements would be brought forward in three areas:
(a) a revised appeals system: with a revised system to be in place following the 2017 revaluation;
(b) better sharing of information between ratepayers, their representatives, landlords and local authorities to bring forward improvements in how the VOA gathers, uses and shares information;
(c) simpler billing and collection
The Government said it was committed to making these improvements to the business rates system by 2017.