Tax & admin · 2 January 2018

Government starts repeal of staircase tax with promise of back payments

Firms sharing communal staircases and corridors have been liable to pay the staircase tax
Firms sharing communal staircases and corridors have been liable to pay the staircase tax
Draft legislation has been publishedtorevoke the’so-called ‘staircase tax, as the government pledges to recalculate business rates and payout backdated savings for those affected.

After mounting pressure from the small business community, government communities secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that a new repeal bill will pass through the Houses of Parliamentwhile a?public consultationwill seek the views of business owners.

Under?staircase taxrules, companies operating over several floors within the same property are handed separate business ratesassessments for each occupied floor, as opposed to onebill for the entire premises. The backdated tax was initially introduced after a?landmark Supreme Court rulingin August 2017.

Now, Javid has confirmed that affected business owners will have business rates bills recalculated under the old single bill system, with any savings to be paid out by government.

Read more: Business rates hike could lead to tsunami? of high street closures

Commenting on the draft legislation, Javid said theunpopular levy had represented an unfair rates hike? for business owners.

for years these businesses in adjoining units or rooms received one rates bill, but this ruling meant they now faced multiple bills for operating in an office linked by a communal lift or stairs, he added.

I am ending this by giving those businesses affected the option of getting their rates bills recalculated and any savings due backdated.

Welcoming the draft legislation, Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said the staircase tax had arbitrarily penalised? firms for sharing communal staircases, corridors or even car parking with another business.


 
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Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

Tax & admin