Small high street retailers benefitting from tax breaks

16th September 2014

More than 300,000 independent high street shops have benefitted from new tax breaks, according to the Government.
 
Back in January, it was announced local councils could take up to £1,000 off business rates for shops, cafes, restaurants and public houses providing the retail property has a rateable value of £50,000 or less.
 
In her first official speech as High Streets Minister, MP Penny Mordaunt revealed the discounts rolled out to SME retailers across the UK has saved them up to £272 million.
 
Within these tax-saving measures exists a 50 per cent reoccupation discount for firms willing to take on disused premises that have been empty for more than 12 months.
 
Retailers can also pay their bills over a yearly period, rather than 10 months, in a bid to help cash flow. Meanwhile a two per cent cap on business rate inflation has also improved matters.
 
Ms Mordaunt, speaking at a conference arranged by the British Council of Shopping Centres, said recipients of the tax breaks include 5,000 premises in Birmingham, 3,250 in Cheshire, 3,900 in Cornwall and 1,500 in Stockton on Tees.
 
The business rate relief was extended to 31st March 2015, meaning an estimated 360,000 businesses will have no bill to pay at all in 2014. Mordaunt claims a typical small retailer could be saving 30 per cent more than last year’s bill.
 
“The minister urged local councils and businesses to use tax breaks as a spring board to revitalise high streets,” she said.
 
“We must help all respond to the needs and wants of the consumer so the high streets remain at the heart of our communities, more than simply places to shop.”

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