Council flaws hit business rate relief take-up

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Business rate relief, Small business, Business, Finance

Properties with a rateable value less than £6,000 should pay no rates
Properties with a rateable value less than £6,000 should pay no rates
Fewer than 20% of councils have clear and up-to-date guidance on how to apply small business rate relief, meaning that many firms miss out on the assistance, according to a study from Oxfordshire-based chartered surveyors Bankier Sloan.

Companies with a single property having a rateable value of less than £6,000 should be paying no rates, whilst those with rateable values up to £12,000 can expect some support.

Poor up-dating

Ian Sloan of Bankier Sloan said: “Many councils have been very poor at up-dating their websites and, as a result, companies are losing out on funding available to them.

“Most councils are still quoting on their websites an earlier version of the scheme and are failing to highlight the considerable improvements available since October 2010. It is not too late to make a claim going back to 2010 and companies who believe they may benefit are encouraged to follow the FREE advice given in the report.

Basic errors

“Although there are many basic errors, which include incorrect deadlines, miscalculations and in two cases a total lack of any information, the saddest aspect of our research is that except for a small number of sites most councils do not appear to appreciate the great financial gains available to small businesses in their communities.

"They have failed to understand the financial benefit that could accrue to a locality, if a business spends the savings in that community. The relief is centrally funded and therefore should be being highlighted by all local councils."

The report​ is based on a sample of 120 council websites in England and is due to be updated in January 2014.

Related topics: Legislation

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