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01 May 2019
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has urged the government to 'fix the broken business rates system'.
The AAT advocates a complete overhaul of the system, stating that it is currently 'unfit for purpose'. According to the professional body, the retail sector is 'suffering significant problems' as a result of rising business rates.
It has also suggested that, by 2023/24, the business rates system will have cost taxpayers £13 billion.
The AAT has outlined a handful of recommendations, which are designed to help tackle some of the 'immediate problems'. These include carrying out revaluations annually, instead of every three years; removing plant and machinery from business rates calculations; and establishing a 'cross-party, consultative approach' to agreeing a fairer, simpler alternative to business rates.
'The system is creaking at the seams – it's a 20th century system trying to deal with 21st century problems, and needs wholesale reform,' said Phil Hall, Head of Public Affairs and Public Policy at the AAT.
'A cross-party consensus on reform would maximise the chances of long-term success and recognise that irrespective of political persuasion, most politicians genuinely want what's best for businesses, large and small. An outcome that allows businesses to thrive is generally good for employment, consumers and the British economy.'