UK chancellor is considering an increase in business rates for most valuable properties

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering increasing business rates for the most valuable properties, having called for industry opinion on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate.

Feedback has also been requested on proposals to create different rates for different types of businesses. As part of a review of the levy, the Treasury warns that failing to raise enough revenue from business rates could put pressure on "other parts of the tax system".

However, there are concerns the increase could hurt retail firms already struggling, with job losses and shop closures increasing.

Business rates are usually based on the rental value of shops which is calculated every five years and is paid by the tenants. Currently, there is a 'standard multiplier' which is applied to properties with a rateable value over £51,000. Around 1.8 million small firms under that value, pay a lower rate.

The consultation is looking at ways to create 'additional higher multipliers for the most valuable properties'.

Business rate experts have criticised the proposals and labelled them 'abhorrent'.

Treasury minister Jesse Norman, in the foreword to the review, said coronavirus has had a 'significant impact on how business is done'.

He added that the Government has to make sure the tax system 'raises sufficient revenue to fund the services that have been essential parts of the pandemic response'.

The government stated that it welcomes views on the multiplier and reliefs sections of the call for evidence by 18 September 2020, to inform an interim report in the autumn.

Posted on Aug 04, 2020.

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