Small businesses with shared premises or rooms within a building, linked by communal areas like stairs and corridors, could be set to benefit from reduced business rates.
The aptly named ‘staircase tax’ has adversely affected businesses across England and Wales, who have been in receipt of separate, backdated business rates bills for each floor occupied, if those areas separating the offices are communal. Some business have seen their business rates increase as a result.
Business rates are calculated separately in Scotland, using the rateable value, which is set by a local assessor, and the ‘poundage rate’, which is set by the Scottish government.
Under the Bill, affected firms in England and Wales will be able to choose to have their business rates recalculated under the old, single bill system. The government stated that any savings due as a result will be backdated.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the Government’s publication, commenting, ‘The staircase tax has arbitrarily penalised small firms simply because they shared a communal staircase, corridor or even car park with another business.
‘It is very good news that the government has stepped in to repeal this ludicrous tax and I hope politicians of all parties will now back its abolition when it is put to Parliament.’
The news follows the announcement by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the 2017 Autumn Budget that future business rates revaluations will take place every three years rather than every five years, beginning after the next revaluation, which is currently due in 2022.
If your business is in arrears of any tax payments, perhaps as a result of bridging the gap of cashflow emergency in the short-term, it’s important you deal with it promptly to get back on track. HJS Recovery can help you devise a timely and effective response and repayment plan. Talk to us today – it’s FREE and confidential. Call 0800 0141 130