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600,000 Companies to Avoid Paying Business Rates Permanently After Budget Announcements

Written by: Craig Newton on Friday 18/03/2016

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More than half a million companies around the UK are soon set to be relieved of their responsibilities in relation to business rate payments, George Osborne announced in his recent Budget speech.

The chancellor said he also expects to see around a quarter of a million more companies nationwide benefit from a reduction in the amounts they are obliged to pay as business rates on their properties.

The changes are to be effected by a raising of the lower business rates relief threshold from £6,000 to £15,000, with the higher threshold for rate relief also set to be increased from £18,000 to £51,000.

“Business rates are the fixed cost that weigh down on many small enterprises,” the chancellor told the House of Commons during his speech.

“At present small business rate relief is only permanently available to firms with a rateable value of less than £6,000. In the past I’ve been able to double it for one year only.

“Today I am more than doubling it, and I’m more than doubling it permanently.”

According to the chancellor, the move will result in business rates being abolished or reduced in relation to roughly half of all properties around the UK.

Plans are also being made for the administration process associated with business rates to be radically simplified in the interests particularly of “larger stores who face tough competition and who employ so many people”.

Mr Osborne described the business rates move as being a permanent long term saving for enterprises throughout the country, giving examples of corner shops, hairdressers and newsagents who will all now see themselves relieved entirely of business rate payment obligations.

Responding to the Budget announcements, Mike Cherry from the Federation of Small Businesses said: “Our members have campaigned hard to make small business rates relief permanent, and expand it – and the chancellor has headed our calls, taking many small firms out of the system altogether.

“The combined measures announced on business rates - the single biggest tax cuts in today’s Budget - will be viewed by our members as a welcome and important step on the road to fundamental reform.”

Plans are also being made for the administration process associated with business rates to be radically simplified in the interests particularly of “larger stores who face tough competition and who employ so many people”.

Written by: Craig Newton on Friday 18/03/2016

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