Business Rates Update

The planned revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021. The government had confirmed Legislation to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021. However, this has now been postponed given the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The move is part of efforts to help reduce uncertainty for companies affected by the outbreak.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick 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 £10bn in business rates relief."

Iain Henderson, Director and Carigiet Cowen’s business rates specialist, comments “Whilst I accept that deferring the Rating Revaluation to 1 April 2022 will introduce a little more stability as we head into next year, what it does also do, of course, is to delay the introduction of a lower business rates liability for those non-domestic properties which have seen a fall in value since the start of the current Rating List.”

In addition to the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), extra grant funds have just been announced by the Government aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

It would appear that the Government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Local Authorities will be given discretion as to how they distribute these additional grant funds. Businesses must be small (under 50 employees), and they must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures. There are to be three levels of grant payments with a maximum of £25,000, and Local Authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

Mr Henderson goes on “Whilst the grants now being made available via Local Authorities and the rates holiday for many is very much welcomed by businesses across the country, it remains important for businesses to still ensure that their commercial property’s rating assessment is correct. This is even more the case now that the decision has been taken to defer next year’s planned Rating Revaluation until 2022.”

If any non-domestic rate payers have any queries or concerns over the current level of the rating assessment of their property, Carigiet Cowen would be able to carry out an initial ‘Health Check’ for a small fee before advising whether or not to go down the formal Check – Challenge - Appeal route.

For further information contact Iain Henderson:-