Reports over the weekend have suggested that small businesses may soon see their tax arrangements change, with the introduction of a system of self assessment for business rates.
According to the Mail on Sunday, government officials are considering introducing the new system to address the widespread dissatisfaction over the current business rates assessment regime, which many feel results in inaccurate and unfair bills being incurred by SMEs
The Mail quotes an unnamed source as predicting that the new system will be announced in the Budget, due to be announced in March by chancellor Philip Hammond.
‘Seriously looking at self-assessment now’
The paper also quotes John Webber, head of ratings at property consultant Colliers International, as saying: ‘My understanding is that the Government is now seriously looking at self-assessment and that it is now the favoured option.
‘The official line is that it’s looking at other options. But our understanding is that it has been discussing with the “Big Four” accountancy firms how self-assessment works in the sphere of personal taxation and corporate tax and how it could apply the same principles here,’ he said.
The current system of valuation-based rates has come in for concerted criticism from business groups, who claim it is an outdated approach to ensuring that businesses pay the right level of rates for the size of their company.
A spokesman at the Department for Communities and Local Government said: ‘There are no plans at this time to introduce self-assessment.
‘However, this Government is committed to ensuring the system for business rates is fair and accurate, and will consider all options in order to do this.’