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Budget 2021 | PwC comments on business rates

27/10/21

Phil Vernon, business rates senior manager, at PwC said;

“The Chancellor’s announcement that the business rates system will remain an important part of Local Authority funding and the final report into changes to the Business Rates system, means that substantial changes have been effectively ruled out. This will frustrate many ratepayers, who have been calling for reform for some time. The commitment to switch to more frequent revaluations every three years have been highlighted as a priority area for reform, but the switch will come with new reporting obligations on ratepayers to allow this to be delivered.

“More welcome will be the cancellation of the planned 3% increase in April 2022 which would have added a significant extra tax burden as business seeks to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, the introduction of a new 50% business rates relief for retail, leisure and hospitality will be welcomed in the short term but with the relief capped at £110k per business this will not represent a significant tax cut to many larger retailers.

“The Government will hope that the introduction of a business rates exemption for green property improvements and a 12 month rates holiday for property improvements will push a new wave of property redevelopment. Whilst the change for green property improvements will last until 2035 and is for a significant period of time, the exemption will involve changes to the rating of plant and machinery, which in some cases only form a very small part of a property’s overall rates bill.”

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Nicola Thorogood

Nicola Thorogood

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