New bill aims to 'modernise' business rates system

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Fair for all: new bill introduced in Parliament aims to modernise business rates system (Credit: Getty/John Lamb)
Fair for all: new bill introduced in Parliament aims to modernise business rates system (Credit: Getty/John Lamb)

Related tags Government Legislation Finance

The Government has announced a new non-domestic rating bill to support businesses by “modernising” the business rates system.

Announced in Parliament on Wednesday 29 March, the bill aims to “incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations” by putting forward fairer and more responsive changed to the market in England and Wales.

The new Non-Domestic Rating Bill pledges valuations will take place every three years, as opposed to every five years as it currently stands, meaning those with falling values will see their bills drop sooner.

Grow and flourish 

Local Government minister Lee Rowley MP said: “The introduction of our Non-Domestic Rating Bill seeks to deliver the reforms announced during our Business Rates Review.

“We are bringing the administration of the tax up to date and making the system more responsive to changes in the economy and introducing new support to reduce barriers to business investment.

“This is another step in the right direction for making sure the UK continues levelling up and supports businesses to grow and flourish.”

Under the new system, businesses making qualifying building improvements will not face higher business rates bills for 12 months, making it easier for businesses to invest with new reliefs for property improvements, providing tax breaks for firms extending or upgrading their property.

Welcome boost 

The bill aims to build on recent steps to cut business rates, with £13.6 billion of support announced at the Autumn Statement, and to redistribute the tax through the 2023 revaluation.

British Property Federation chief executive Melanie Leech said: “These measures are a welcome step towards creating a business rates system that is fair for all.

“The British Property Federation has long called for more frequent revaluations to help ensure the level of rates payable reflects current market conditions and structural changes in the economy.

“A move from five to three yearly revaluations is a marked improvement, and we would like to see Government continuing to strive towards even more frequent revaluations in due course.

“The introduction of a business rates improvement relief is also a welcome boost as property owners and occupiers work together to decarbonise and futureproof older buildings and support the UK’s journey to net-zero.”

Related topics Legislation

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