Press release

Business Rates boost for SMEs bottom line but nothing for large retailers

11 March 2020

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement about Business Rates in today’s Budget, Gerry Biddle, director and Business Rates consultant at Deloitte, commented:

“From 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 all shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues - with a rateable value of less than £51,000* - will now pay zero business rates. The Chancellor has extended this to also include leisure and hospitality venues: museums, art galleries, theatres, caravan parks, gyms, small hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, sports clubs, night clubs and club houses.

“This will be of significant benefit for the smaller retailers but there will be no benefit for retailers with larger stores, many of which have very large business rate bills.

“In addition, any businesses eligible for small business relief will get a £3,000 cash injection. The UK’s 700,000 small businesses occupying a single unit, with a rateable value of less than £15,000, should be very happy right now - a real boost to their bottom line for the next financial year.

“The Chancellor also adjusted the business rates discount for pubs from £1,000 to £5,000 for a year.”


On the Chancellor’s announcement of a review of business rates Gerry Biddle added:

“The Chancellor also announced a ‘fundamental review of business rates’, which will be concluded in time for the Autumn Budget. It should include major changes to the current system of transitional relief, in particular the abolition of downward phasing. This is the gradual decrease of rating liabilities over a number of years following a revaluation.

“This downward phasing currently sees a typical major UK retailer overpaying £8.5 million on its shops over the four years since the 2017 rating list. For example, a single retail store in Blackburn’s overpayment is nearly £250,000 - 57.5% higher than it should be.

“The reality is business rates are too high and the overall burden needs to be significantly reduced. Any review needs to look at alternative taxes such as online sales tax. Additionally the introduction of self-assessment for business rates would greatly simplify the system and remove the need for appeals.”



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