Kilpatrick & Co welcomes rates relief changes

Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co

The Government has announced new business rates measures to come into effect from 1st April 2020. These include increasing the Retail Rates Relief from 33% to 50% for all shop properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. The relief applies to all types of shop, including butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers, but also includes hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, petrol stations, post offices, opticians, but unfortunately not estate agents.

From April 2020, this relief is extended to include cinema and music venues with a rateable value of under £51,000. Offices owned by local newspapers will also get discount of £1,500 from 1st April 2020 and pubs will also get a £1,000 discount if they have a rateable value of under £100,000. This is in addition to the Retail Rates Relief for pubs with a rateable value of under £51,000.

Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co said, “Whilst this additional rates relief is to be welcomed, as is anything that helps the high street, unfortunately this does nothing to deal with the problem of large shops suffering from the burden of transitional surcharges, leaving them still paying excessive rates, based on 2008 rental values, which do not reflect the significant fall in values since then, which is why so many large shops are lying vacant and so many retailers are having to close such shops.”

The Government has also announced the provisional multipliers for the Rating Year 2020/2021 with the standard multiplier likely to be 51.2 pence in the pound and the small business multiplier 49.9 pence in the pound.

Andrew Kilpatrick said, “As 2020/21 is the last year of the 2017 Rating List, any business who has not yet taken the plunge to embark on the new check/challenge/appeal system of business rates appeals, should be taking action now as rumours of a cut-off date for 20217 Rating List appeals have been circulating. Unfortunately, it is no longer easy to make a business rates appeal. It takes some considerable time and preparation and so business are urged to consider their situation and act before the opportunity goes and they lose 4 years business rates savings.”