Keeping you up to date on the latest accounting and tax issues

Government makes move to speed up delivery of business rates relief

Earlier this year, the Chancellor pledged to support small businesses who faced a dramatic increase in their business rates bills.

Business rates are a tax chargeable on non-domestic properties, such as pubs, restaurants and warehouses. The amount payable is calculated based on the value of the property.

Delayed implementation of provisions

The provisions promised included a £25m fund, a further £300m discretionary hardship fund and a special relief intended for pubs. However, these are yet to benefit the businesses who are in such desperate need of them. Not only this, but the adjusted bills promised to businesses, up and down the country, are still outstanding.

Because of the delays around 25,000 vulnerable businesses have been left in limbo, wondering when the help they have been promised will come to fruition whilst struggling to stay afloat.

Next steps

Now, in an attempt to speed things up, the Government have stepped in. Local Government Minister, Marcus Jones, called software companies Capita, Civica and Northgate Public services to Westminster for talks on the matter.

These companies must now work to a deadline of 21st August, stipulated by the Government. By this date they must provide local councils with the software updates necessary to produce new bills. It is hoped that local councils will act fast and implement the updates swiftly. Once updates are in place adjusted bills will be sent out to businesses in early September.

As much as businesses can spend time assessing their cashflow and forecasts to understand how certain changes will impact upon their operation, the onus is just as much on the Government and local councils to provide the unswerving encouragement and support required during a period of such great economic uncertainty.

Here at George Hay, with a large proportion of our client base made up of small, local businesses, we understand the issues facing these firms. We are on hand all year round to ensure you’re always up to date on the latest legislation and aware of the tax-saving opportunities available to you. We work across all industry sectors to provide comprehensive audit, accountancy, taxation and business advisory services, tailored to the requirements of your business. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.

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