Business rates appeals may be blocked
The Telegraph reports that companies are facing a business rates ‘black hole’ of up to £6bn, after it emerged the government plans to reform the business rates appeals process at the same time as it increases rates. Ministers reportedly want the power to throw out any business rates appeal if it is within a margin of error of up to 15%, meaning a firm could potentially be blocked from appealing even if it can prove it is being charged too much tax. Meanwhile, the Telegraph’s Jeremy Warner warns that a “significant number” of businesses will be ruined when changes to the business rates system take effect next April. He says that some will be hit with an immediate increase in the tax on their properties of 42%, with still worse to come in future years. He urges the government to reconsider its plans, arguing that Brexit means the UK must position itself as “one of the most business friendly places on the planet.” To meet this ambition requires a low-tax, deregulatory agenda of “truly revolutionary intent”, says Mr Warner.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (30/12/2016)