Business rates move could benefit charities, experts say

A more frequent revaluation of business rates could be beneficial and provide cost savings to charities in England, membership bodies have said. 

The government yesterday unveiled proposals that it said would make the business rates system fairer and more streamlined with more frequent property revaluations.

Under the plans, revaluations of non-domestic properties would take place every three years, instead of five under the current system, to ensure they better reflected changing economic conditions.

The proposals will form one part of the government's Fundamental Review of Business Rates, which will be published in the autumn.

Richard Sagar, policy manager at the Charity Finance Group, said: “More frequent revaluations of business rates could be beneficial to the sector, so that charities pay rates that are more accurate and fairer. 

“However, we would be concerned if these proposals led to an increase in the administrative burden, and subsequent cost, that is placed on charities.”

Mandatory and discretionary rates relief was worth about £2bn to the sector in 2018/19, according to the Charity Tax Group. 

The membership body has previously warned that charities should not be left any worse off as a result of the consultation and should be granted additional support where funding is available. 

The CTG has also highlighted that, while charities receive significant reliefs, about £400m of business rates is still paid by the sector, where discretionary relief is not awarded.

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