Business rates: UK businesses could save almost £500 million after interim rebate ruling

Businesses in the UK could save a combined total of £481 million in business rates after an interim ruling on rebates.

The Valuation Office Agency, which handles bills for business rates, has now announced that offices that have appealed their business rates bill are eligible for a 25 per cent rebate.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced an extended holiday for businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, giving them a 12-month break from the tax.

However, offices were billed in the usual way, which meant that despite offices remaining empty for the majority of the year since the coronavirus pandemic forced employees to begin working from home, they received no rebate for business rates.

Many appealed the decision, with the Government stating that around 150,000 businesses have lodged appeals, resulting in the interim decision to offer a 25 per cent rebate following protracted negotiations.

Many businesses highlighted the fact that UK supermarkets were included in the business rates holiday, although Aldi, Lidl, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have now agreed to repay a total of £1.9 billion in business rates.

A spokesperson from the Valuation Office Agency said: “Understanding the impact of the ongoing pandemic on rateable values is a complex legal and valuation issue. We are working to resolve these cases as quickly and efficiently as we can.”

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