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  • Writer's picturedavid Tanswell

What is really likely to happen to business rates?

It is Autumn already, and the party political conference season is upon us.

Promises to create a better future for business, post-pandemic, are key to the messages of all the major parties.

With an estimated £1 in every £8 raised in overall taxes deriving from property - principally via rates bills- Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) considers it beyond credibility that business rates will be scrapped. The present Government is ideologically committed to low personal taxation, in favour of "invisible" taxes (like national insurance), that is, taxes which are not widely understood, and thus tolerated. Does the person in the street know anything about the multiplier, for example, and its major effects on our non-domestic rates bills?

CPA is happy to wager that this easy to collect and impossible to avoid tax will be at best tinkered with, to reflect more accurately rental values. In addition, we should not expect a greater frequency of rates valuations, given the burden this would place on the already overstretched Valuation Office Agency.

CPA therefore urges firms concerned about their rates bills to contact them for further professional advice, potentially involving a formal challenge, with the prospect of sizable rebates and a more favourable revaluation.

Perhaps the biggest problem with political promises is the coast involved in waiting for them to come to fruition.

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