SMEs losing out on Small Business Rate Relief

More than £400 million in Small Business Rate Relief is going unclaimed each year, according to an accountancy firm.

Small businesses are entitled to SBRR if the rateable value of their premises is below £12,000. Special rules apply for businesses that own more than one property, but with a total rateable value below this limit.

Paul Durrance, a partner at Mitchell Charlesworth says businesses with a rateable value of up to £6,000 will pay no business rates and this was extended by a year to September 2012 in the March Budget.

This means that eligible ratepayers will receive SBRR at 100 per cent on properties up to £6,000 rather than 50 per cent. A tapering relief from 100 per cent to 0 per cent will also be in place for properties over £6,000 and up to £12,000 in rateable value for that period.

‘SBRR is a terrific tax break for recession stricken small firms,’ says Durrance. ‘However, many business owners are unaware of the tax break and historically hundreds of millions have been left unclaimed with the North West being one of the worst regions with only a quarter of eligible firms entering a claim.

‘If you think you could qualify it is vital to contact your accountant urgently to ensure you do not miss out on a penny of cash you could save.’

Durrance says many of the North West’s 440,000 plus small firms are paying too much tax due to the complex nature of the tax regime, poor finance skills, and a lack of knowledge about tax relief schemes.

‘It’s not surprising that business owners are struggling when Britain has one of the most complicated tax systems in the world,’ he adds.

“More than 500 pages of new tax law are created each year. That is why here at Mitchell Charlesworth we urge small firms not cut corners on finance. Common mistakes which cost firms include incurring fines for late filing of accounts; failing to claim Business Rate Relief and ignorance of opportunities such as the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme, which allows companies unable to pay their tax bill to spread payments.

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