Is it really possible to ‘unleash’ Business Investment?

Well, 100 of Britain’s biggest businesses think it is possible to unleash investment!  The catalyst they say is overhauling business rates, this most controversial tax for so many companies.

The government needs to maintain its ‘tax take’ and receipts of revenue somehow but the likes of Marks & Spencer, Heineken, the Co-op, Majestic Wine and Tata Steel whom Harris Lamb act for are amongst the companies who have signed an open letter calling for a wholesale re-vamping of business rates calling it a tax “no longer fit for purpose for the 21st Century” and it must be “revamped to unleash business investment”.

I’m not sure what “re-vamping” entails but what is needed is a re-valuation.  The dips and in some cases the destruction of rental values on some properties means that the Rating re-valuation delayed from 2013 has distorted the taxes being levied on many properties – notably the many high street shops that are empty with no tenant or occupier in sight.

Whilst business rates raise £25 billion for the Exchequer each year the 100 businesses claim, rightly in our view that the tax is now out of kilter with economic realities and hindering investment.

At Harris Lamb we work hard with many of our clients to lay claim on rating appeals that have seen government repay £4.2 bn between 2010 and 2015 from Appeals which gives a good pointer that the tax system is not accurate enough.

Whilst doing all we can to help clients with their rating assessments and relief applications what we need is a revaluation as soon as we can.