The Autumn Budget announcements included a series of measures to alleviate the burden of business rates in England. For 2022/23, 50% relief will be available for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties, and the business rates multipliers will again be frozen.
The business rates multipliers for the current year have already been frozen at 2020/21 levels, and this measure will continue until 31 March 2023, keeping the multipliers at 49.9p (small business) and 51.2p (standard).
Many businesses already pay no business rates due to small business rates relief, and retail, hospitality and leisure properties currently benefit from a 66% discount. For 2022/23, retail, hospitality and leisure properties not qualifying for small business rates relief will receive a 50% business rates discount, subject to a cash cap of £110,000 for each business.
Eligibility for the 2022/23 50% discount will not be as wide as the current 66% discount, although detailed guidance has not yet been published.
The Budget announcements are a far cry from the hoped-for radical reform of business rates, although a raft of other measures effective from 2023 will help over the longer term. These include:
• Revaluations to take place every three years starting from the next revaluation in 2023 (recently, the interval has been longer than the scheduled five years);
• A 100% improvement relief will provide relief for 12 months from any additional rates charge where improvements increase a property’s rateable value. Most plant and machinery has no impact on rateable value, but the new relief will help, for example, if CCTV is installed or bike sheds added.
• For green investments, an exemption from higher rates bills will apply where, for example, rooftop solar panels or electric charging points are installed. A 100% relief will also be provided for eligible low-carbon heat networks.
Details of current business rates relief for properties in England can be found here.