Many business owners face uncertainty as the business rates revaluation looms with April 2017 just around the corner, bringing with it the first review of business rates in seven years.
Although little has been confirmed, there is widespread speculation that some areas will face drastic increases, such as Dover Street in Mayfair with an earmarked 415% increase, due to the soaring property values.
Other areas such as the town of Redcar in Yorkshire can sit somewhat comfortably with speculation that rates may get a reduction of 38%, correlating again with the falling property value in such areas.
The government defended the forthcoming decision during the 2016 Budget, as they announced the biggest ever cut in business rates – worth £6.7bn over the next five years. From April, 600,000 businesses will pay no business rates at all and the revaluation will mean that nearly three out of every four businesses will see their bills fall or stay the same.
The Milton Keynes Chamber is calling on the Chancellor to use his last Spring Budget to support long-term business investment by taking action to deliver real reform to the business rate system.
Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, has said that the current rates system is ‘broken’ with some businesses noticing the steep increases compared to some with a decline around 40%. Furthermore, these business rates are making the UK an ‘unattractive place to do business’ all at a time when the UK’s uncertainty surrounding the future relationship with Europe is more unclear than ever.
Islington Council have launched a petition with the Islington Chamber of Commerce calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to halt the rates revaluation until the UK has left the European Union, although there is no current update on the success of this.
Some properties are eligible for ‘Business Rates Relief’ from their local council. An example of this is ‘Small Business Rate Relief’ which you can claim if your business uses only one property or has a rateable value of less than £12,000. Another example is ‘Enterprise Zones’, so if you are starting up or relocating to an enterprise zone, you may qualify for business rate relief, which will be worked out by the council.
These changes in Business Rates are a reflection on the way the property market has changed rather than a direct outcome of decisions from central government.
To calculate the rates for your business, click: check my business rates