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UK Small Firms Face Retrospective Property Tax Bills

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

30 August 2017


Leading UK politicians have called for the Government to cushion small businesses from the impact of a court ruling on business rates (commercial property tax) bills.

Senior Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat members of parliament have voiced their opposition to the backdated business rates bills that are being delivered to tens of thousands of small businesses that use communal stairwells, walkways, or lifts.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that, in the past, firms would receive one business rates bill covering all occupied space. Following the Woolway v Mazars Supreme Court ruling in 2015, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is now allocating different bills for individual floors and workspaces. This means substantial bill increases for small firms, resulting in many losing small business rates relief.

"Backdating a tax businesses didn't even know they were liable for is the worst kind of anti-business action, making the UK look like a hostile place to invest at a time of unprecedented uncertainty," said FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry. "The VOA is hitting small firms with backdated bills despite the Supreme Court ordering them to exercise common sense – it's an absolute scandal."

TAGS: tax | small business | business | property tax | Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) | law | United Kingdom | legislation

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