The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced that UK business rates revaluations will now take place every three years, easing pressure on small business owners.
In his Budget speech on 22 November, Hammond said the change will come into force after the next business rates revaluation in Britain, due in 2022.
Up until now, business rates revaluations have been set every five years, with the most recent revaluation having occurred in April this year.
In his speech, the chancellor said: “I have heard the concerns about the five-yearly revaluation system. Shorter revaluation periods will reduce the size of changes in valuations.
“I can announce today that after the next revaluation, future revaluations will take place every three years. This Conservative government listening to our small businesses.”
Alex Probyn, President of the UK business rates division of Altus Group, Britain’s largest ratings advisor, welcomed the announcement with a cautious optimism.
He said: “A shorter valuation period undoubtedly has benefits in terms of the speed at which value changes are passed on to ratepayers, but there is an inevitable increase in costs in revaluing more frequently.
“The government has stated that any changes must be revenue neutral, and this appears to mean that those extra costs will be passed to the ratepayer.
“An apparently popular option – self-assessment – is fraught with difficulties and is too high a price to pay. Self-assessment essentially shifts the costs of setting value onto the ratepayers, placing the burden on them to make a correct assessment or face penalties.”
Read more Autumn Budget coverage:
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.