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Revealed: How Preston businesses could be missing out on a share of £15 million

Posted on - 2nd February, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Looking up Orchard Street towards the Covered Market Pic: Tony Worrall

Looking up Orchard Street towards the Covered Market Pic: Tony Worrall

Businesses in Preston are being urged to check whether they could be entitled to a share of £15 million.

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Changes to business rate appeals introduced in the government’s Autumn Statement mean backdated business rate savings will soon have a two year deadline.

CVS, a business rate specialist firm, say a total of £10 million could be lost if Preston firms don’t act by the end of March.

It has calculated 74 per cent of properties in the city have yet to claim back money owed.

Mark Rigby

Mark Rigby

Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS, said: “The vast majority of businesses are well aware that they can claim refunds on overpaid business rates because of the discrepancy between previous property valutations and actual business rate bills.

“Crucially there are now only two months left for businesses in Preston to submit appeals where no action has been taken and because of the Chancellor’s new regulations, where £10 million in refunds is at risk of being lost.

“The business rates system is bureaucratic, complicated and in many respects, unfair. This latest move by the Chancellor slams the door on businesses in Preston where bills could have been potentially incorrectly calculated and businesses are already struggling to manage overheads might have substantially overpaid.

“With pressure on businesses so great at the moment the last thing they need is a tax grab from government which this blatantly is.”

High business rates are often cited as one of the reasons for empty shops in Preston.

The Lancashire Evening Post launched a campaign in October last year for business rates to be lowered, which was backed by Blog Preston.

What is the change in business rate appeals?

In the Autumn Statement small print, page 78 to be exact, George Osborne announced any business rate appeal submitted after 31 March 2015 will only be eligible for savings for the period April 2015 to April 2017. Successful appeals submitted before 31 March, in contrast, are entitled to backdate savings right through to April 2010.

Has your business ever appealed a rates decision? Let us know in the comments below

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