Construction businesses are set to benefit from a new empty property buildings relief which is due to kick in next month, applying to commercial buildings completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016, reports Chartered Accountants Northampton Harris & Co.
The relief - which is estimated to be worth £150m, and due to benefit more than 11,000 new commercial properties including offices, factories and warehouses not occupied in the first 18 months after construction - was announced today by local government minister Brandon Lewis.
The discount had been announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement to encourage development by reducing the business rates liability of owners of unoccupied new buildings.
In addition, the Treasury has published guidance which sets out the detailed criteria and eligibility for this additional relief for empty new builds to assist local authorities and businesses understand and successfully use the discount.
The new relief comes in addition to another relief – that of doubling small business rate relief for three years benefiting half a million properties – which together seek to help companies with their business rate liabilities.
Lewis said the move will boost confidence in the commercial property sector and allow them to develop new projects again without worrying about the risk of rate bills on empty buildings whilst they find a buyer.
‘This is the latest in a series of decisions by the government to address business rate concerns, help stimulate the construction industry and encourage economic activity across the country,’ he said.