Government launches business rate review

A "wide-ranging" review of the English business rates system has been launched, Treasury officials have announced.

The government will assess the structure of the current system and look to modernise it in order to better reflect changes in property valuations.

The business tax is paid on 1.8 million properties in England, affecting millions of businesses.

The review was announced by the Chancellor in the 2014 Autumn Statement and is due to report its findings by Budget 2016.

A number of business rate reforms were announced at the Autumn Statement. From 1 April 2015:

  • the business rates discount will increase for small commercial properties with a rateable of £50,000
  • small business rate relief will be doubled until 31 March 2016
  • business rate rises will be capped at 2%.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

"The government has taken measures to help businesses by capping rates and introducing reliefs for smaller businesses. But now the time has come for a radical review of this important tax. We want to ensure the business rates system is fair, efficient and effective."

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