It’s time to shake up business rates

20 January 2020: business rates have been a millstone for bricks and mortar businesses for decades. It’s time to rethink a broken system

Nobody likes business rates: a tax that takes no account of profitability, yet has increased above inflation for 30 years. The UK now levies some of the highest business property taxes in the developed world – and retailers with bricks and mortar stores, already under severe pressure from online competitors, pay 25% of them.

John Boulton, Technical Strategy Manager at ICAEW, believes that the current business rates system discourages new business activity, in part because the rationale for revaluations appears so opaque, making it difficult for businesses to plan ahead.

Institute Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW): 20 January 2020. Read more: