SPRING BUDGET 2024; What does it mean for business rates?

spring budget 2024


The Spring Budget was delivered by the Chancellor on 06 March 2024, with little direct reference made to business rates.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief (RHL)

Ratepayers were reminded that the RHL Relief Scheme will be extended for a further year until 31 March 2025; the discount of 75% will remain subject to a cap of £110,000 per business. This is in recognition of the fact that the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors have continued to suffer in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and amidst the cost-of-living crisis. This will come as welcome news to occupiers within these sectors.

Relief for Film Studios

The Chancellor also announced eligible film studios in England will enjoy a 40% relief on their gross business rates until 2034; this comes in recognition of the fact film studios – as a collective – faced the largest rateable value increases at the 2023 revaluation. Further guidance will follow regarding eligibility criteria and calculation of the relief.

Changes to Empty Rate Regulations

The consultation on business rates avoidance and evasion concluded in September 2023 and the Government has now published its findings. Businesses are currently granted 100% relief for three months (or six months for qualifying industrial property) when a property becomes empty. If vacant properties are reoccupied for six weeks, another period of relief is then triggered. The key change to the existing regulations is that, from 01 April 2024, empty properties will need to be occupied for 13 weeks to claim empty property relief.

Rates Bills for 2024/2025

Business rates demands for 2024/2025 are currently being distributed by local authorities. With the standard Uniform Business Rate (UBR) multiplier tied to the September CPI figure, there will be a considerable increase to businesses with rateable values of over £51,000. Coupled with a reduction in transitional relief from April this year, many ratepayers will be facing an increase to their bills.

Please get in touch with our rating team if you have any questions – [email protected]

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