Covid-19 Business rates update
Business rates and Covid-19, an update.
A Government announcement was made on the 25th March 2021 regarding business rates discounts for businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. The headline is £1.5bn of additional money being made available to businesses “who have been unable to benefit from the existing £16 billion business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure”. You can read the announcement in full here: Business rates relief boosted with new £1.5 billion pot.
As yet, we do not have the details of how to apply for the relief, but will update this page to provide more detail as soon as possible. It is likely to require an evidence based application given the Government’s aim of distributing the funds “according to which sectors have suffered most economically”.
The Government is also making a fundamental, and backdated, change to the law to rule out Material Change in Circumstances (MCC) business rates appeals on grounds of COVID-19. This change is intended to retrospectively invalidate the action that Altus Group, and others, have taken to appeal business rates due to the effects of the pandemic. We are awaiting the legislation detail, but if it operates as intended, and cannot be challenged, this will bring the Altus Group Action taken on behalf of our clients to a close.
The Team at Altus Group is proud that the actions taken to protect the interests of our clients, and the pressure we applied, leveraging the combined power of clients via over 40,000 checks and challenges, together with lobbying and PR, has forced Government to stop ignoring the plight of businesses and provide relief. To this extent it has been a great success. Sadly the £1.5bn of support is far less than the estimates of between £4bn and £8bn of refunds that MCC appeals would have unlocked for UK businesses.
If you have any questions regarding your business rates, contact the team today.
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If you think you are paying too much for your business rates, we can help.
Send us a copy of your business rates bill using the upload form.
Our business rates experts can take a look at whether you have a case to appeal and challenge your rates.
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