Philip Hammond has brought forward a cut to businesses rates meaning from April 2018 rates will rise in line with the lower CPI measure of inflation, not the RPI. Business rates were due to go up next year in line with September’s RPI of 3.9%, while CPI was 3% that month. The move is worth £2.3bn to businesses over the next five years, the Chancellor said. Mr Hammond also promised a change in the law that led earlier this year to companies receiving much higher rates bills if their offices were in communal blocks and spread over several floors or separated by corridors shared with other occupiers.

BBC News Independent i, Page: 15 Financial Times, Page: 8 The Sun, Page: 10 The Times, Page: 9 The Daily Telegraph, Budget 2017, Page: 3

Posted 23/11/2017



RBS has settled a case with businessman Stuart Wall, who accused the bank of mis-selling an interest rate swap. He lodged a claim worth about £670m after his firm collapsed into administration in 2013. The case “has been settled without any admission of liability by the bank. The terms of the settlement are confidential,” a statement said.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 26   The Times, Page: 48

Posted 24/08/2017

Emergency services are set to face a £113.6m business rates tax increase over five years, new data reveals. Police stations will be hardest hit, with police chiefs across England and Wales needing to find an extra £60m. Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, suggested that a particular impact of the omission is that local authorities will no longer be given the powers to reduce business rates locally: “Firms will be furious that, despite their protestations earlier in the year and government promises of action, there will be no reform of a rating system desperately in need of modernisation,” he said.

BBC News

Posted 23/06/2017




New data protection rules coming into force next May will change how companies are required to process information, such as customer lists and employee records. But a survey of more than 1,000 small companies, commissioned by Irwin Mitchell, found that 78% had not heard of the new rules, while 86% were not aware of the threat of fines. Only 11% had started preparing for it. Matthew Pryke, partner at Hamlins, said: “Too many businesses are complacent. Those who leave it to chance and don’t prepare now could be left high and dry if the ICO finds that businesses breach regulations.” The FSB warns the new rules will add to costs for SMEs and has called on the government to launch an awareness campaign over the summer.

The Times, Page: 51 

Posted 20/06/2017

The Times reports on the threat to rural business from the revaluation of business rates, which Tory MP for Montgomeryshire, Glyn Davies, predicts could lead to an uprising from rural communities. According to the Valuation Office Agency’s own figures, stables, vineyards and livestock markets are among those facing the biggest increases. New business rates take effect on April 1 and will update figures from assessments done in 2008, to assessments done in 2015. About 920,000 businesses will have their rates cut and 420,000 will see no change. However, 510,000 will see rises. The paper calls for a rethink of the system to calculate rental value and to revisit the exemptions for these taxes. Separately, Christian Ulbrich, global chief executive of JLL, has said stamp duty is distorting the housing market and makes building more homes prohibitively expensive for developers.

The Times, Page: 1-2   The Times, Page: 13   The Times, Page: 27   The Daily Telegraph

Posted 23/01/2017


A proposed new business rates appeal system has been slammed by business groups representing SMEs, retailers and pubs. They say a provision in the appeal regime, known as Check, Challenge, Appeal, could cost businesses £700m in overpayments over a five-year ratings cycle. The “reasonable professional judgment” provision would mean ratepayers will not be able to argue against a rates bill if its margin of error was inside 15%.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 2   The Mail on Sunday, Page: 95-96   Sunday Express, Page: 56

Posted 20/11/2016

The Government is to change the law so directors of companies that make nuisance calls to consumers can be fined up to £500,000. Until now only the companies have been liable for fines, allowing unscrupulous directors to escape penalties by closing their business, only to reopen it under a different name. Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said: “We are inundated with complaints from people who are left shaken and distressed by the intrusion on their daily lives. Making directors responsible will stop them ducking away from fines by putting their company into liquidation. It will stop them leaving by the back door as the regulator comes through the front door.” Matthew Hancock, the digital policy minister, said: “We will not stand for this continued harassment and this latest amendment to the law will strike another blow to those businesses and company bosses responsible.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 1, 2   The Mail on Sunday, Page: 91   The Sunday Times, Page: 13

Posted 23/10/2016


Business groups have raised concerns that HMRC’s new voluntary pay-as-you-go digital tax system, designed as a budgeting tool to help businesses and the self-employed, could lead to incorrect tax payments. Experts have voiced doubts over the ability of HMRC’s administrative and IT systems to handle problems caused by people attempting to do their own taxes digitally. IPSE’s Andy Chamberlain said there “is generally no reason to pay tax in advance,” and that the system is more likely to benefit HMRC than self-employed workers.

Financial Times, Money, Page: 4   FabNewz

Posted 01/10/2016


NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland have warned businesses they may have to charge them to accept deposits due to low interest rates. The move, if enacted, would make them the first UK banks to introduce negative interest rates, in effect, charging to borrow money. Customers were informed in a letter: “Global interest rates remain at very low levels… this could result in us charging interest on credit balances”. Personal customers are not affected.

The Times, Page: 1, 2   The Guardian, Page: 1, 8    Daily Mirror, Page: 18   Daily Mail, Page: 28

Posted 26/07/2016