Small firms faced with working out own rates
The Mail reveals that SMEs could be forced to calculate their own rates under plans being considered by the Treasury. Officials are said to have consulted the big four accountancy firms on a self-assessment system, under which businesses - rather than the VOA - would have to estimate the rental value of their own property. The Treasury says this would significantly reduce a backlog of 280,000 appeals lodged by businesses which believe their rates were wrongly revalued in the last round of changes seven years ago. But Mike Cherry, of the FSB, said small firms “don"t have the time or expertise to take on this role.” Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that bookshops fear they will be wiped off the high street as a result of changes to the business rates system. In a letter to David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, the Booksellers Association said many bookshops would be crippled by rate increases and described the tax as archaic. Elsewhere, the FT’s Lex concludes that although controversial, business rates remain one of the fairest options when it comes to raising revenue from companies.
Source: Daily Mail (25/02/2017)