Government to ‘rule out’ business rates appeals

In what tax and property experts are describing as a “catastrophic blow” for businesses impacted by commercial property tax, the Government has announced that it will introduce legislation to ‘rule out’ Covid-related business rates appeals.

While many retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have not had to pay any rates during the pandemic, a government relief which runs to the end of June 2021, those ineligible for this support have been appealing for discounts on their rates bills on the basis of ‘material change of circumstance’ (MCC) due to Covid-19.

In a blow to many though, the government has announced that market-wide economic changes to property values, such as from COVID-19, can only be properly considered at general rates revaluations, and will therefore be legislating to rule out COVID-19 related MCC appeals.

Instead, the government says it will provide a £1.5 billion pot across the country that will be distributed “according to which sectors have suffered most economically”, rather than on the basis of falls in property values.

This more targeted support, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick says, will go to “those businesses that have not already received rate relief. This is the fastest and fairest way of getting support to businesses who need it the most.”

More information will follow, but a full copy of the statement can be found here: Business rates relief boosted with new £1.5 billion pot.

Our business support specialists in the Hospitality sector remain available to assist you during this difficult time.

Please contact Matthew Burge for further information or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner. We will guide you through the tax maze and help you with bespoke solutions to ensure that you and your business are as tax efficient as possible.