It is widely accepted that business rates have distinct strengths as a tax. The factors, such as efficiency of collection, the high level of revenue raised, and the relative difficulty of evasion, make it an essential source of funding for local services.
The results of the recent Call for Evidence bear out that view too, however they have also emphasised a range of important challenges. These include the burden of the tax, including its administration burdens; the targeting and effectiveness of the reliefs system, the frequency of rates revaluations, and calls to address the ever-increasing competition from online sales.
We know from the recent Budget:
- The Government have extended the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure discount, which is worth over £10 billion to ratepayers.
- They also confirmed that the business rates multiplier will be frozen in 2021-22, saving businesses in England £575 million over the next five years.
The publications from Tax Day, clearly shows that Business Rates are an emotive subject, with huge differences across different business sectors and regions, there are a lot of responses to be analysed. What we expect from herein is that the Government will release a final report on the Fundamental Review of Business Rates in Autumn 2021. Apparently, this will set out the Government’s priorities for reform, and its longer-term vision for the business rates system. Hopefully then we will be in a more certain place with the Coronavirus Pandemic to be able to give businesses and landlords the certainty they need.
More details on the consultations and proposals from ‘Tax Day’ will be published in our news feed over the coming days, or you can email us at Tax@randall-payne.co.uk and we can arrange a call back to discuss anything in more detail.