Figures from the Valuation Office Agency show that a new business rates appeal platform has caused the number of firms registering a challenge to their bill to fall by 94% across England.
Following the installation of the Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) system, 12,580 firms now have outstanding challenges to their rates bills registered, compared to 209,140 at the same point after the 2010 revaluation.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on all political parties to commit to radical reform of the £25 billion rates system through:
- Wider roll-out and permanent implementation of the Retail Discount, which allows small retailers with rateable values of up to £51,000 to claim a 33% discount on their rates bills.
- An increase in the 100% Small Business Rates Relief ceiling from £12,000.
- Fundamentally reforming CCA and removing a quirk in the rates system that causes small firms to lose relief if they expand to another premises, thereby disincentivising growth.
“The business rates tax is a product of a bygone era.” Commented FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry. “This busted flush penalises independent high street businesses to the tune of billions every year before they’ve made their first pound in turnover, let alone profit.