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No business rates rise deferral

shopping2Businesses will not be able to defer most of the biggest business rates rise in more than 20 years – despite the chancellor's promise.

Last week George Osborne said companies would be able to defer up to 60% of the 5.6% increase over two years, but the system needed for this will not be in place in time for the April rise.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has told local authorities that they should charge companies the full increase. 'The legislation required to allow the deferral will not be enacted until next year. Therefore, we are not expecting ratepayers to be able to defer from the start of the billing year,' it said. This will see companies receiving multiple bills with the likelihood of inaccurate future bills.

'It will be October to November before they start implementing it so businesses will have to pay the full increase to start with and then each one will have a claim to make. They will have to work out if the cash flow benefit is worthwhile enough that it makes sense to jump through all the hoops they will have to jump through over the next three years,' says Jerry Schurder, head of ratings at chartered surveyors Gerald Eve.