The Government has announced that the Business Rates Revaluation expected to take place from the 1st April 2021 will be postponed.
It is claimed this will provide greater clarity and certainty during increasingly difficult times and will assist businesses and occupiers.
The Government also confirmed that whilst the new Rating List has been postponed, they are still working behind the scenes to carry out a fundamental review of the current system which is expected to commence over the coming months.
The announcement however has not been welcomed by several sectors of the industry including retail, leisure and hospitality, which have been widely affected by the impacts of Covid-19.
The extension of the current rating list period will mean that ratepayers will be paying business rates which are based on rental values from 1st April 2015.
The rental values in these sectors have fallen considerably over the course of the last 5 years reflecting a shift in consumer spending and market movements, without even considering the catastrophic impact of Covid-19.
This creates a scenario where business rates liabilities are considerably higher than the actual rental value of the premises.
Whilst a business rates holiday currently exists for these sectors, costing the Government approximately £10bn in revenue, it is not clear if this will be applied to the 21/22 financial year.
If not, ratepayers will be faced with inflated business rates liabilities at a time when they are still trying to recover from an anticipated economic recession.
It has also not been confirmed when the new Rating List will come into effect and whether the valuation date adopted will be the 1st April 2019 or amended to reflect a post Covid-19 market.
Whilst uncertainty remains ratepayers are recommended to contact professional Rating Surveyors who can advice further with regards to these matters.
At Roger Hannah we have considerable experience in negotiating Business Rates appeals for clients and we are consistently up to date with the ever-changing position and legislation with regards to Business Rates.
If you own or occupy a commercial property and you feel you may be paying too much on your Business Rates, or unsure whether your rateable value is correct, please contact our specialist Business Rates team for a free initial consultation.