Business rates and empty property relief
The Chancellor confirmed that the threshold for the exemption from the payment of empty property rates for the rate year 2010/11 would be extended to £18,000, meaning an estimated 70% of empty properties would pay no empty rates. He also announced an increase in the small business rate relief allowances. From October 2010, small businesses occupying properties with rateable values of less than £6,000 will pay no rates for one year and small businesses that enjoy taper relief on rateable values up to £12,000 will get increased relief.
Who will be affected?
Businesses owning properties with rateable values less than £18,000 and £12,000.
As outlined above.
Robert Murdoch, head of rating at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, commented:
"In the present economic climate where many small businesses are struggling, the increase in small business relief is very welcome with over 345,000 businesses set to benefit.
To a lesser extent, the confirmation of the increased threshold for empty rate relief is also welcome. However this fails to address the real crux of the matter that the changes introduced in April 2008 are penal and as a result many properties that would be available to help set up small starter businesses are being demolished because the income that the owner receives from these lettings does not cover the empty rates costs incurred when the property reverts to them. The real effect of this tax on empty property does not match the theory in both the Barker and the Lyons Reports and it is time that reality took hold and the Government realised that they are destroying the embryo opportunities that new business rely on."