// The UK Government delays the next business rates revaluation by two years
// The next revaluation will take effect in 2023, instead of 2021
// To reflect the impact of Covid-19, this revaluation will be based on property values as of April, 1 2021
The UK Government has officially confirmed that the next business rates revaluation will take place in 2023, and called for evidence for a wider review of the rating system.
The news comes after it was announced in May that the business rates revaluation in 2021 would be postponed, but an exact time for when it would be rescheduled was not revealed until today.
The two-year delay means the next revaluation will take effect in April 2023, and to reflect the impact of Covid-19, this revaluation will be based on property values as of April 1, 2021.
- Business rates revaluation will no longer take place in 2021
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“Under current legislation, the next revaluation would take effect on 1 April 2022 based on pre-Covid-19 property values as of 1 April 2019,” the government said in a statement announcing the draft legislation for the new Finance Bill 2020-21.
“In May 2020, the government announced a postponement to provide greater certainty for firms affected by the impacts of Covid-19.
“The government is today announcing that the next revaluation of non-domestic property in England will instead take effect on 1 April 2023.
“So that it better reflects the impact of Covid-19, it will be based on property values as of 1 April 2021.”
The Treasury also launched a Call for Evidence that seeks views on how the business rates system currently works, issues to be addressed, ideas for change and a number of alternative taxes.
“The government is aware that many businesses and stakeholders may need extra time to engage fully with all of the issues in the call for evidence and so is seeking responses in two phases,” it said in a statement.
“We welcome views on the multiplier and reliefs sections, by 18 September, to inform an interim report in the autumn.
“Responses on all other sections are invited by 31 October, ahead of the review’s conclusion in Spring 2021.”
Property and retail experts have welcomed the news.
“Business rates are a huge burden for retailers even in normal circumstances, and the current system has contributed to store closures and job losses across the country,” BRC business and regulation director Tom Ironside said.
“Securing a review of the system is a longstanding priority for the industry, and so we welcome the announcement of the Call for Evidence, which progresses a key objective for the BRC and the industry.
“Over the coming weeks, we will be working closely with retailers to develop our response. The overarching objective of the review must be a sustainable system that is fit for the 21st Century and which reduces the overall burden on retail.”
Alex Probyn, UK president of expert services at Altus Group, said: “A revaluation reflecting the emerging post Covid-19 economy and the ‘new normal’ must be the right thing to do given falling rents in sectors adversely affected by the pandemic and this will translate into lower tax demands in the longer term.
“In the short to medium term, many ratepayer’s tax liabilities should be reduced following material change in circumstances appeals offsetting the delay in reduced valuations coming into effect.”
When the coronavirus pandemic gripped the UK in March, the Chancellor announced a raft of measures to help ease the financial strain on retailers as they went into lockdown and consumer spending nose dived.
One of those measures was a one-year business rates holiday that applies to all retailers.