Business rate reform: changes to take effect 1st April 2015

1 April 2015

From today, business rate discounts will be increased to 31st March 2016 for many small retailers, including restaurants and pubs. Businesses with premises at a value of £50,000 or below (to £1,500) will benefit from the discount. 

Business rate relief will also be doubled for another year, ensuring some small businesses are exempt from paying business rates.

Other changes:

  • A cap of 2% on business rate multiplier
  • Extension of transitional rate relief to support struggling small businesses

These steps are a positive sign that the business rate reform, which is currently under review, is heading in the right direction. Now until the Budget 2016, the government will be looking at the business rate system as a whole, considering modernisation of certain parts. It will also observe the 1.8 million properties affected by the process. 

Earlier this month, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said in a statement, “Our system of business rates was created nearly 30 years ago. Since that time, the worlds of commerce and industry have changed beyond recognition. I’ve been impressed by the representations made by the business community and I know that business rates are a considerable cost.”

“The government has taken measures to help businesses by capping rates and introducing reliefs for smaller businesses. But now the time has come for a radical review of this important tax. We want to ensure the business rates system is fair, efficient and effective.”