Estate agency branches to face new business rates rules

Agents with high street offices will see more frequent valuations and tax breaks for building improvements.

Estate agents are set to see a new system for business rates in England as the Government changes the rules.

A new bill introduced in Parliament will “modernise” the business rates system, the Government says, to incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations.

The Non-Domestic Rating Bill will introduce more frequent valuations, to take place every three years instead of the current five, meaning businesses with falling values will see their bills drop sooner.

It will also provide new business rates improvement relief, so businesses making qualifying building improvements will not face higher business rates bills for 12 months.

This will make it easier for businesses to invest with new reliefs for property improvements, the Government says, providing tax breaks for businesses who are extending or upgrading their property.

On your side
Victoria Atkins MP

Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, says: “I want businesses to know that the government is on their side.

“Businesses have asked for changes to the business rates system and we are acting, including with more frequent revaluations to make the system fairer and more responsive.

“And they come on top of £13.6 billion of business rates support which resets the balance between bricks and clicks businesses, helping our much-loved high streets and communities.”

Melanie Leech, CEO, British Property Federation

Melanie Leech, CEO at the British Property Federation, says: “A move from five to three yearly revaluations is a marked improvement, and we would like to see Government continuing to strive towards even more frequent revaluations in due course.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt froze the business rates ‘multipliers’ at 49.9p (small business) and 51.2p (standard size business) in his Autumn Statement.

He also introduced a relief scheme to ensure no small business faces a bill increase greater than £50 per month for 2023-24 after losing eligibility for rate relief.

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