Business Rate Revaluation Postponed

6 May 2020

Share this

Earlier today the UK Government announced that the planned 2021 revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.  Whilst removing uncertainty in terms of new assessments and liabilities, it is important to put this into the context of the overall revaluation project.

Revaluations always produce winners and losers.   The postponement will have a negative financial impact on those who would have benefited from reduced rates liabilities, particularly in the traditional retail sector.  If implemented as planned from April 2021 this would have led to substantial reductions in liabilities for the beleaguered retail sector. At the other end of the spectrum, distribution warehousing and businesses in London would have seen substantial rises.  The revaluation was due to come into effect from April 2021 which would coincide with the end of the current scheme of retail, leisure and hospitality relief.  

We have been here before when the revaluation was postponed in 2015, again to the detriment of the retail sector in particular.  The announcement applies only to England. Wales and Scotland have devolved powers. Wales will need to consider whether fairness, particularly for those who will be winners in the revaluation, is to be sacrificed in favour of the certainty of current liabilities, albeit linked to the CPI.