A snippet from this November’s budget holds out the promise of rates refunds once the law has been changed!
The Chancellor promises legislation to scrap the so-called “staircase tax”, which, following a Supreme Court decision, has been costing businesses extra rates, backdated to 2015.
The Supreme Court ruled that businesses in buildings linked by for example a communal lift, corridors or stairs should be treated as occupying more than one property, whereas previously accommodation on adjacent floors were assessed as a single hereditament. The total of the separate rates assessments typically being more than the Rateable Value when assessed as single entry in the Rating List. Rates bills were backdated to 2015 and resulted in big jumps in costs which was particularly troubling for smaller businesses, who also then often lost their Small Business Rates Relief.
Seems Philip Hammond has said that he will change the law and refund any extra money paid by businesses since the ruling. Sooner rather than later please Phil!
Meanwhile let us hope the VOA will stop following the Supreme Court ruling.