Have your say on business rates

In his article for this month’s “legal” page for Pub & Bar magazine entitled “Have your say on business rates” (that can be downloaded below), David Clifton comments on the Treasury Committee’s business rates inquiry, the terms of reference for which are as follows:

Terms of Reference

The inquiry will look at how changes in Central Government policy have changed the business rates system. In turn, this inquiry will also look at how the current business rates system is operating and the associated impact on business.

The inquiry will cover the following:

  • The impact of changes in Business Rates policy since 2017 on businesses, in particular:
    • the changes in reliefs and allowances
    • the ability of businesses to pay
    • the relationship between Business Rates and the behaviours it drives in business.
  • How the current Business Rate system measures up against the following pillars of good tax policy: 
    • Fair
    • Support growth and encourage competition
    • Provide certainty
    • Be coherent.
  • The economic justification for a property-based business tax:
    • The impact of Business Rates on rental prices
    • The impact of Business Rates on property prices
    • Alternatives to property-based business taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax
    • The problems associated with property-based business taxes
    • The impact of changes (proposed and actual) of Business Rates on Local Authorities and Councils, and the High Street.

David suggests that those wishing to make a submission will find plenty to assist them (a) on both the UKHospitality and BBPA websites and (b) in a House of Commons Library ‘Business Rates’ Briefing Paper (number 06247 dated 19 December 2018) that you can also download below.

The written submission form can be found here and guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons can be found here. The deadline for making a written submission is 2 April 2019.