Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his first Autumn budget to parliament today and we have pulled together the headlines for business rates:
Key Business Rates Highlights
– Business rates annual increase to be based on CPI rather RPI brought forward to April 2018
– Discount for pubs, with a rateable value less than £100,000, extended for a further year
– After 2022 revaluation, future revaluations to take place every three years
– Staircase tax to be axed
Graham Isle, business rates expert in our Leeds team commented on today’s budget, focusing on the changes to business rates and how this will affect businesses across England and Wales.
“During the budget it was announced that from next April (2018) the annual rates increase will be based off the lower Consumer Price Index rather than the Retail Price Index. Before today’s announcement it had been promised that this change would be made in 2020 so it’s great to see the decision brought forward as early estimates indicate it could bring about a benefit of £2.3billion to small businesses over the next five years.
“It was also good to hear that following the next revaluation in 2022 the government plan to increase the frequency of revaluations from once every five years to once every three years. Moving forward this should ensure that business rates bills are more in line with properties market value and enable fairer bills to be generated.
“There was also welcome news for thousands of businesses occupying workplaces split across multiple floors as Hammond announced he would axe the staircase tax. Despite the ruling, businesses affected will need to continue paying their current bill until legislation is approved and the Valuation Office Agency make the amendments. Unfortunately, this may take time, which isn’t good news for businesses in the short term.
“Following the success of the business rates discount for pubs it was declared that this would be extended until May 2019, good news for the leisure sector as roughly 90% of pubs currently benefit from the £1,000 discount.
“In other news It was also announced that local authorities would now be able to charge 100% council tax on empty properties to penalise those with vacant properties and hopefully increase housing availability across the country.”
To speak to Graham about today’s changes and your business rates liabilities moving forward please contact him on 0113 221 6119 or at email@example.com.