Trends & Features

The British Retail Consortium reveals business rates reform options

The ideas published in a report called The Road to Reform, the BRC says, could ensure customers continue to benefit from competition, provide incentives for retailers to invest in property, support the regeneration of the high street and create more jobs to add to the three million people already employed in the industry.

The options, put forward by the trade association for the UK retail industry in consultation with BRC members and Ernst&Young, are:

• Shifting the basis for taxing property by replacing the current system with a tax based on other measures, for example, energy usage.

• Rewarding employment by delivering a discount to the business rates bill based on a given value per employee, capped at an overall proportion of a company’s rates bill.

• Supporting successful businesses by providing a discount to the business rates bill based on a percentage of corporation tax payment, capped at an overall proportion of a company’s rates bill

• Modernising the existing system by introducing a simplified, banded revaluation system, with revaluations on a more regular basis.

“We have a once in a generation chance to fundamentally change the business rates system and the time is right to think creatively and in the best long term economic interests of the UK,” Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, says.

“These potential options would be good for the public, the economy and businesses small and large, while still providing significant tax revenues for the government.

“We now intend to analyse each one in more detail and very much hope we will stimulate discussion that goes beyond tinkering with the existing system.”

John Rogers, Sainsbury’s chief financial officer, who chaired the group leading the project for the BRC, described the current rates system as cumbersome and outdated, adding: “We believe we can do better for business and for taxpayers and these options represent tangible progress in the debate on what reform could look like if we think about retail in the future, rather than the past.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button