As budgets continue to be stretched further than ever, business owners will be keen to keep a firm hold on their finances in the face of spiralling costs.
While some may feel forced to consider difficult cuts to staffing, marketing and production costs, there could be one expense they’ve unknowingly been overpaying for some time – business rates.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt re-shaped this business expense as part of the government’s November budget after it had, let’s face it, got somewhat out of control. It’s bizarrely the one tax on which inflation is added every year, causing the standard multiplier for England to have increased 47% from 34.8p in 1990 to 51.2p in 2022.
So what’s changed? Firstly, the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors will see relief increase from 50% in 2022/23 to 75% in 2023/24 (capped to £110,000 per business in each year). Meanwhile, the inflation adjustment which would otherwise have seen the standard multiplier increase from 51p to 54.2p next year, will now be frozen, whilst some 300,000 properties will now receive the full benefits of lower bills to fall in rateable value following the imminent 2023 revaluation.
At last, the government is intervening to ease the burden on businesses, but there’s still more you can do to save.
Business property rates in the UK are complex. As the uses of properties change over time, so do their rateable values. To make things more confusing, there are numerous exemptions and reliefs that might be available, if one knew what they were looking for. Many businesses are overcharged for their business rates, often for a number of years, but their owners are either unaware or lack the expertise to correct it. With professional help, however, it’s possible to both reduce business rates going forward and recover overpayments already made, plus, with the industry widely working on a no win, no fee basis, there’s nothing for business owners to lose.