Britains Property Taxes Are the Highest

Hardly a claim to fame is it? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has produced data that proves the UK has the highest property taxes on businesses out of 34 countries within the Organisation.

The taxes levied from commercial and residential properties, that is council tax, business rates and stamp duty are worth 4.1% of GDP which is more than twice the average in the OECD.

I and my colleagues are dealing all the time with new inward investment enquiries as well as companies looking to expand UK operations. Whilst there are some taxes lower than Global competitors – Corporation Tax being one – the high rates of tax on property are certainly felt by us at the sharp end of trying to attract UK property development projects when all too often we are competing with mainland European countries for investment projects from the US, Asia and Australasia.

The news that Business Rates contribute a greater share to total tax revenue in this country compared to anywhere else in Europe backs up some of the commentary made by colleagues here at Harris Lamb as well as in the wider property and business pages.

The latest available figures out of the OECD showed tax from commercial property made up for 11.6% of total taxation compared to 2.4% in Germany. Bear in mind that Business Rates are due to increase by another £840m in April next year.

My colleague Erich Gutt from our Rating team commented last week about lobbying the Chancellor on Rates particularly, ahead of the Chancellors Autumn Statement but I think that all of us in the property industry need to to appreciate the level of tax burden resting on the shoulders of property occupiers – we are setting world records ! Sadly not a record we should be too proud about.

For help on rating or other property matters contact me or one of the team at Harris Lamb.

Andrew Lamb