Car dealers face paying out of date business rates for years as revaluation delayed again

Time 1 year ago

Car dealers will continue to pay out of date business rates based on valuations from before coronavirus until 2023.

The Times has reported that the government has postponed a re-evaluation of the commercial premises tax which will condemn business to paying bills that bear no relation to the current situation.

Rates were put on hold for most businesses by the government as part of its coronavirus pandemic response, but the news they will not be be reviewed will worry many.

Rates are currently based on property valuations from 2015 and the next rates review is not expected to conclude until the spring of 2021. 

The government said it would be delaying the revaluation of rates in May and yesterday confirmed the new charges would not take effect until 2023.

The news comes as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) revealed that UK firms are still operating at around half of their pre-virus capacity.

In its latest coronavirus business impact tracker the BCC revealed that, on average, businesses said they were at 53 per cent of their full pre-Covid 19 capacity.

More than half of firms cited customer demand and possible local lockdowns as major obstacles to fully restarting day-to-day operations, according to the figures compiled with the job site Indeed.

BCC director general Adam Marshall said: ‘Our findings demonstrate that the UK’s economic restart is still very much in first gear.’

The survey of firms between July 6 and July 10 revealed that the steep decline in business conditions seen at the start of the pandemic is levelling off.

However, almost half of firms, still reported a slight or significant decrease in revenue from UK customers compared to June.

The news rates will still have to be paid at pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit levels for years to come will be an added worry for business owners.

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the British Retail Consortium, told The Times: ‘If businesses are to be forced to pay rates based on outdated valuations until 2023, the government will need to be ready to intervene to mitigate the detrimental impact of this broken tax.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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