Business Rates Revaluation Postponed

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 . But will this help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus?

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has announced that a revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021, and claimed that this will help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

Legislation was introduced in 2018 to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021, as it was decided by the government that shorter rating periods we fairer, but following the recent economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic ministers want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:  “We have listened to businesses and their concerns about the timing of the 2021 business rates revaluation and have acted to end that uncertainty by postponing the change.  Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10 billion in business rates relief.”

The government is continuing work on the fundamental review of business rates, with the key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term.  The call for evidence for the review will be published in the coming months.

The postponement comes on top of the government’s support package for business and workers during the economic emergency including:

— businesses are set to receive a discount of almost £10 billion on their rates bills this financial year in response to coronavirus, after the business rates retail discount was increased to 100% from 50% for 2020 to 2021

— over £12 billion for local authorities to deliver grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses. As of 3 May 2020, over £8.6 billion has been paid out to over 697,000 business properties

protections for UK high street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic

— the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month, backdated to March 1 and available for at least 3 months. The first grants have been paid.

— a deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June – representing a £30 billion injection into the economy

— a total of £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses

The Non-Domestic Ratings (List) Bill 2019-20 was introduced to bring the date of the next revaluation forward from 2022 to 2021.

Business Rates demands are calculated using specific valuation methods. It is important for rateable values to be regularly updated through revaluations to ensure bills stay accurate.  With changing circumstances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the next revaluation not happening until 2022 it is perhaps one of the most important times to appeal against your current business rates liability.

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