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Press release: Legislation introduced to help businesses affected by unfair ‘staircase tax’

first_imgCommunities Secretary Sajid Javid will today (28 March 2018) introduce legislation that will reverse the impact of a ‘staircase tax’, which has unfairly affected up to a thousand businesses.A Supreme Court judgment saw hundreds of businesses that operate in adjoining units or rooms, but are accessed from a common corridor or staircase, receiving separate rate bills for each unit.The ruling also saw businesses facing higher rate bills, with some paying more due to the loss of small business rate relief.The introduction of the Bill means these firms will be able to choose to have their rates recalculated under the old single bill system and any savings due backdated.Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: Subject to Parliamentary approval of the Bill, those businesses who have been directly impacted by the Supreme Court judgement can ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to recalculate valuations based on previous practice.It can then have its bill recalculated if it chooses, and backdated. This includes those firms who lost small business rate relief.Further informationThe introduction of the legislation follows a decision in the Supreme Court (Woolway v Mazars) which brought about a change the practice of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in assessing rateable values for businesses.Following this ruling, businesses who occupied more than one property in a shared building received a separate rates bill for each unit. This was widely known as the ‘staircase tax’ and meant businesses in adjoining units who had previously received one rates bill, were now being subject to several bills. Some businesses were paying more overall due to the loss of small business rate relief – a discount applied to the bills of certain businesses with a lower rateable value.This ruling overturned an established and widely understood practice where businesses occupying 2 adjoining floors or 2 rooms separated by a wall only received a single bill. Media enquiries Email [email protected] 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF For years firms in adjoining units or rooms rightly received one rates bill, but this court ruling meant they faced multiple bills for operating in an office linked by a communal lift or stairs. This was a completely unreasonable burden on businesses which this legislation will put a stop to. We’re giving those businesses affected the option of getting their rates bills recalculated and any savings due backdated. General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. Social media – MHCLG Office address and general enquiries Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 Contact form https://forms.communit… Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclglast_img read more