The year-long business rates holiday, which was introduced because of the onset of the pandemic was due to finish in England at the end of March, but the Chancellor announced on the 3rd March 2021 that the period was being extended by the Government until 30th June 2021. After that only businesses forced to shut this year would be eligible for a reduction in their bills. The relief is being capped at £2m, which will be a blow for non-essential retailers and pub companies with large property estates.
Whilst it has been an extremely difficult time for some of these businesses, local authorities also need to be able to raise sufficient funds and resources for local priorities in a way that is fair for their residents and gives the authorities the resources and tools they need to be able to deliver for their communities, so is now the time for those authorities to start thinking about commencing business rates reviews again?
What about those businesses that have potentially switched to an online presence?
Online Businesses can still potentially pose a challenge compared to that of a traditional business and business rates as a tax but this could still be an area of interest for an authority, especially as the online commerce may lead to other activities that will potentially generate business rates, such as distribution warehouses etc.
Capacity Has Been Reduced
The pandemic hasn’t only hit those businesses across an authority’s district, it has also potentially impacted the council themselves. The business rate holiday is coming to an end and authorities may want to look at starting to conduct reviews again, but just don’t have the teams or capacity available to conduct these reviews.
With increased workloads due to COVID Grants and Self-Isolation payments having to be made, as well as dealing with the more traditional day to day tasks, the easiest solution for many councils may be to look to a partner who can conduct reviews on their behalf: this is where Liberata can help.
How Liberata Can Help
Our Business Rates Review (or RV Finder) service identifies additional items that are either unrated or under-rated and gathers the right evidence to successfully get the hereditament rated via the Valuation Office (VO). The new Electronic Billing Authority Reports (EBAR) process has placed a further burden on local authorities to comply with the new guidelines and our service is set up to support this exact process.
Through our RV Finder service, we review and identify hereditaments that are not currently rated or misclassified.
If you would like to learn more about how Liberata can help, please click here.