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What's new in business rates politics?


Peter Foley is our resident guru here at CPA, and has been passionately following the shifting world of business rates for many years. With a keen political insight, Peter’s writing reveals how policy change is key to understanding your business rates further, and how this could translate into substantial savings. In his weekly column, Peter also outlines a desired path forward, with changes we’d like to see implemented for a fairer system on the nation's business rates.




As businesses consider how best to meet their horrific energy bills, there is considerable clamour for -at least temporarily- abolishing business rates.


We think this strategy highly unlikely to succeed for three reasons. Firstly, this tax is the easiest of all to collect. Secondly, money accruing from abolition is nowhere near enough to compensate for the crippling cost of energy. And finally, the government's course is set on the 2023 Rating List, and its ancillary issues, such as the requirement for additional information to be provided to the HMRC.


At best, businesses can expect limited targeted help in the form of specific grants for vulnerable sectors, although even this may have had its day.


The surest way to reduce business rates is via well-constructed appeals to the billing authority. Particularly since the door is still -just- open for the repayment of substantial cash rebates, as well as a more realistic rates assessment for the future.


As homeowners, we are now aware that Liz Truss has capped energy bills at £2,500 for two years from 1 October, 2022, while also suspending temporarily green levies.

Although there isn't a price cap for businesses, Liz Truss has confirmed an equivalent guarantee for six months.


Further information about support for business is unclear, the Prime Minister announcing a review in three months' time. No doubt, the present "broad brush" approach will be more targeted on vulnerable commercial areas, for example hospitality.


For other businesses, Truss advocates a closer look at how our bills may be reduced through improved energy efficiency. (Grants for low carbon technologies, as well as the best engineering solutions, are best explained by specialist consultants).


In short, Truss hopes to have provided the wherewithal for businesses to survive the winter, beyond which information is sadly lacking.



 


The new Rating List due in April, 2023, will reveal some subtle changes, which will increase the onus on the ratepayer to self-report any changes they have been made to the property. And it follows that , more than ever, expert advice will be required if increasingly complex rateable values (RVs) are to be challenged successfully.


It's important not to rely on RVs reducing in April, 2023, as the full national picture of rental movements will be patchy at best. Furthermore, downward transition, if applied, will blunt the effects of expected savings.


We'd recommend that the months remaining before the new financial year be devoted to a fresh and detailed examination of the data required for a challenge to existing rates. Our clients receive this survey, supported by RICS-regulated professionals wherever necessary, is free of charge.


CPA's competitive rates of commission, containing no hidden fees, are entirely results-based, meaning that there is nothing to lose, and serious savings in rebates are to be won, along with a more realistic RV for the future.


Since CPA's terms are payable only after successful financial outcomes for the client, why not contact CPA today for a free no obligation consultation?





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