Businesses need to be mindful of business rates, says UK200Group members
Members of the UK200Group of independent accountancy and law firms have today commented on new government figures which show an increase in income from business rates.
Councils across England are forecasting a £23.5bn income from business rates next year, a £400m increase on this year’s figures.
This increase in business rate income has been attributed by the government to a rise in the number of new businesses being established in England.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed that the additional burden of business rate payments, coupled with the new Apprenticeship Levy and the National Living Wage, could have a significant impact on both companies and the wider economy.
Jonathan Russell, partner at UK200Group member firm ReesRussell, said:
“The new economic model of the government seems to be to change regulations to increase the costs of businesses, whilst taking the credit for the process – you only have to watch the current TV adverts about the new living wage.
“That councils will be receiving the business rates going forward is probably a doubled edged sword though, as I suspect the central grants to councils will be cut to take account of this, while businesses will remain neutral and their costs will remain the same, unless councils do something locally.”
Duncan Montgomery, tax partner at UK200Group member firm Whittingham Riddell, said:
“The combination of issues highlighted by the CBI, the living wage, business rates and levies, is pushing more businesses toward smaller premises and frequently third party logistics (3PL). Using 3PL allows space to be freed up, capital tied up in buildings to be released and businesses to move forward efficiently.
“While not a panacea for all ills, 3PL is worth investigating, particularly if warehouse pick rates generate too many returns, back orders or errors. Finding the right 3PL partner is not hard, and with care can be a significant step forward for many.”