Calls are being made by the British Property Federation to the Chancellor for the reinstatement of tax relief for vacant properties. Until 1st April 2008, the landlords of empty business properties either didn’t pay business rates, or paid them at a reduced rate. Since then the property rate relief has been abolished which, combined with the recession and economic downturn, has delivered a devastating blow to businesses.
The reform of empty property rate relief is supported by around 65 MPs, who claim that the property tax is hindering business growth. The tax is also known as the ‘bombsite Britain tax’ as properties which could be utilised as flexible office space are being demolished to avoid the tax. To help small businesses, the British Property Federation is calling for concessions for properties with a rateable value up to £18,000, which the Coalition government removed in 2011. The organisation also wants rates relief on properties and new developments which are empty while being refurbished.
The MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy said:
“Empty Property Rates are a progressive and negative form of taxation which choke economic growth and penalize those already suffering from the wider economic situation. I firmly believe that the government should take action at the upcoming budget to bring some relief to those within the property industry, and that’s exactly what I shall be asking the Chancellor to do.”
Until the government introduce tax relief for empty commercial properties, a small business accountant will minimise tax with other available tax reliefs and allowances.
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.