Given present economic uncertainty, the Government announced that the publication of its final report resulting from a fundamental review of business rates would be pushed back to the Autumn.
It says that, by then, we should be in a position to deduce more about the future of public finances and the economic situation facing us.
The review was announced by Rishi Sunak at his Budget, a year ago, and a call for evidence was published last July.
Business rates have become a politically charged topic in recent times, with online retailers generally paying much less than their high street counterparts do.
This, combined with the fact that online retailers have been able to continue trading throughout the pandemic whilst most high street retailers have been forced to close for months or weeks at a time, has only exacerbated the issue.
The call for evidence requested views on how the business rates system currently operates, important issues to be addressed, and suggestions for change and alternative taxes.
An interim report, which was published on so-called ‘Tax Day’ (23 March), begins to address some of these issues via a brief summary of some of the responses received to the call for evidence. The report can be found here.
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