Retailers are in almost unanimous agreement that business rates need an overhaul. Could the BPF’s latest suggestion become reality?

It’s almost universally agreed that business rates require an overhaul. After the government announced the postponement of revaluation until 2017, small retailers are faced with paying potentially high rates for at least three more years. Many commentators have argued that the system requires a complete overhaul. The British Property Federation have spoken out against the current system once more. This time, the BPF is calling for the scrapping of business rates for one million small businesses, including hundreds of thousands of small retailers. The BPF estimates that business rates will have increased by 25% since 2010.

Despite the chancellor revealing that rate rises will be capped to 2% this year and the availability of business rates relief for small businesses, these measures have been criticised by some groups. Meanwhile, the Labour party has promised a one per cent cut in business rates if they achieve a majority at next year’s general election.

The BPF argues that the current system only works if the revaluations are made annually. It states that this would only be possible if small businesses were exempt from paying rates altogether. The cost to the treasury of this move would be approximately £700 million, but it would undoubtedly provide a huge boost to small businesses across the UK.

Business rates are currently one of many costs that small retailers have to juggle. More and more retailers are using retail software to keep track of their costs and income. Trader is software for small retailers, including builders’ merchants and hardware stores. Talk to us to arrange a free demonstration of the software in action.