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Government plans to reform business rates system

Business rates could be reassessed on a more frequent basis to ensure that the tax paid is ‘in line with the state of the economy.’

The Chancellor, George Osborne, spoke of Government plans to review and reform business rates in the Autumn Statement last year and offered the equivalent of £1.1bn in measures to reduce the burden on businesses.

Recently the Government published its ‘terms of reference’ for the review, which will include changes to both the frequency and methods of valuation, as well as a reassessment of the organisations that are eligible for exemptions or relief.

Under the current business rates system, a property’s rateable value is assessed every five years, but in a statement, David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said that the Government had ‘a view to strengthening its responsiveness to changes in property values’, amongst other things.

Business Secretary Vince Cable commented that he will ‘welcome this review’ and was ‘particularly pleased that the review will look at the frequency of valuations as it is out of date property valuations that is a real problem, especially for businesses in deprived areas where rents have fallen’.