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The Autumn Budget report and business rates.

Many companies have been eagerly awaiting the Autumn budget report from Rishi Sunak, hoping that some aid will be coming their way in light of the COVID-19 crises.

Sunak announced a 50% relief for leisure and hospitality premises with a Rateable Value below £110,000. It was also decided to scrap the planned annual increase in rates for all firms for the second year in a row. This decision is due to save £4.6 billion over five years!

Hospitality and leisure can now prosper, according to the statement, more than 90% of those businesses will receive the extended retail relief, however, some of this sector will still be left behind. Bricks and mortar firms have long complained that they’re at a disadvantage when compared with online retailers who do not have to pay business rates. The proposed online tax is still on the cards.

The Treasury has been carrying out a wider review of business rates to reduce its’ burden. Mr Sunak stated: "We on this side of the House are clear that reckless, unfunded promises to abolish a tax which raises £25bn every year are completely irresponsible." Nevertheless, the revaluation is still due on from April 2023 which should still see some major changes.

In addition, from 2023, all firms (not just in retail and hospitality) would be able to make improvements to their property without having to pay extra business rates for 12 months.

The reforms also include a new relief for firms that invest in sustainability and smart energy solutions, green technologies etc. such as solar panels and heat pumps.

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