Stores trying to recoup overpaid business rates in England face a postcode lottery, with refunds potentially differing by tens of thousands of pounds.
New research has revealed nearly three in four local councils in England are failing to backdate unpaid small business rate relief (SBRR) for the full 11 years store owners could be owed if they have never claimed this central government backed relief.
Previous research by chartered surveyors Bankier Sloan uncovered that many local shops and businesses were not getting the SBRR they were due. These businesses can still apply for this relief. These businesses can also seek retrospective relief – essentially a refund of rates overpaid for any years going back to 2012 where they met the criterial for SBRR but did not receive it.
However, new freedom of information requests by Bankier Sloan to all English local authorities have revealed that 54% are limiting backdating to just six years, and a further 21% are also not automatically allowing claims for the full 11-year backdated period.
Ian Sloan of Bankier Sloan explained: “We believe, along with the dozens of local authorities who are correctly implementing the regulations, that it is still correct that local councils accept claims back to 1 April 2012. Sadly nearly 75% of councils are not accepting this situation.”
All single-site businesses in England with a rateable value below £15,000 are entitled to SBRR, with those under £12,000 receiving a 100% discount. Retailers that fall in this category but are not receiving SBRR are advised to contact their local authority.
Bankier Sloan also offers support for businesses and has a proven track record of helping local authorities to create fairer rates relief systems for businesses.