Treasury’s “unjust” rates appeal block could cost SMEs £700m

Business leaders from eight trade bodies have condemned Government plans to stop businesses appealing incorrect business rates calculations after new research showing SMEs could be hit with more than £700m of unfair taxes.

Under the ‘reasonable professional judgement’ provision, ratepayers won’t be able to argue against a rates bill if its margin of error was inside 15 percent. Analysis by Daniel Watney using official VOA data estimates it could cost small firms in England more than £700m over the next five year rating period.

The proposal is included within draft regulations for the new business rates appeal regime known as ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’, which has been widely condemned by every major business lobby group.

The consortium represents thousands of small businesses, pubs, property owners, hotels and retailers, and includes the FSB, BPF, BBPA, Revo, BRC, BCA, BHA and ALMR.

Debbie Warwick, partner and head of business rates advisory, spoke more on the issue on BBC Radio 4.


Debbie’s comments were also featured in the following publications:


Mail on Sunday

The Times

The Telegraph

The Guardian



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