Business rates holiday starts winding down


Local councils in England will begin billing hospitality and leisure businesses with rates payments from the start of this month.

Approximately 400,000 firms within the hospitality and leisure industries have benefitted from the 100% business rates holiday during the last 15 months, as part of the Treasury’s COVID-19 support package.

From 1st July, business rate relief will be available at 66% instead until 31st March 2022. This relief is capped at £2m per business for properties that were forced to close on 5th January 2021 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, or £105,000 per business for other eligible premises.

The reduced package until April 2022 will require tens of thousands of small businesses to meet tax liabilities worth up to £5 billion, according to real estate adviser, Altus Group.

With the UK Government continuing to cover a third of business rates commitments for eligible firms at a cost of £3.3 billion, this takes the Government’s total financial support to £17.1 billion, say Altus Group.

Earlier this year, the Government revealed it would expand funds available to rate-paying firms to try and negate the need for Covid-19-related business rates appeals.

Appeals described as “material change in circumstances” would ordinarily enable rate-paying firms to obtain sizeable reductions in the rateable value of their premises.

However, the Government has ring-fenced a £1.5 billion pot for local councils to support firms outside of the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors rather than giving them the usual right to appeal.

The Rating Surveyors Association believes the total sum of potential “material change in circumstance” appeals would equate to £5 billion among firms in England alone.

Date published 02 Jul 2021

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