Rateable values are used to calculate the Business Rates payable on properties. You may be aware that a revaluation has been performed and new rateable values came into effect on 1 April 2017. Whilst in the North East this may mean that Business Rates reduce, large rises are expected in the South East.
In addition to the revaluation, by 2019/20 the Government plans to allow Local Authorities to retain 100% of the business rates raised in their area.
Whilst the Government has committed to protecting mandatory Business Rates relief for charities, which makes up 80% of the Business Rate charge, Local Authorities will be able choose how they apply discretionary relief.
With income from Business Rates potentially reducing in the North East, it is possible that Local Authorities could become more stringent on awarding discretionary reliefs. If discretionary reliefs were to be withdrawn many charities may struggle to find the additional funding to pay the charge.
Tait Walker are Observer Members of the Charity Tax Group (CTG), a national organisation with over 500 members which makes representations to the UK Government on charity taxation issues. As each Local Authority can have its own processes around the application of Business Rates relief, the CTG are aiming to collate and share information around the application process for discretionary reliefs for each Local Authority.
If you have recently gone through the process for applying for Business Rates reliefs, please can you let us know about your experiences by emailing email@example.com. We will then feed this back to the CTG, with the aim of helping to create a level playing field.