A series of delays in relief schemes have hit retailers impacted by business rates rises, according to a specialist rates firm.

Business adviser CVS says a £115m tax relief scheme aimed at helping the “most vulnerable” retailers, who are losing out on relief they previously received after being reclassified, has not yet been implemented by local authorities.

This means stores which were supposed to benefit from a capped increase of £600 will instead have already paid two installments at a higher figure since the revaluation came into effect in April.

“There is no reason why revised tax demands shouldn’t have been sent out by now,” said CVS chief executive Mark Rigby.

“These delays are simply causing panic, confusion and alarm.”

Meanwhile the FSB said confusion at local authorities is also preventing the distribution of a £300m discretionary rates hardship fund announced in the spring budget.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “The first order of business for the communities secretary in the next government should be to get a grip and make sure the promised help is delivered in the first month of office.”