The Government has launched a full consultation on avoidance and evasion across the business rates system.
The consultation is now open and run until 28 September 2023. The full consultation details and how to contribute can be found here: Business Rates Avoidance and Evasion: Consultation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Government is looking for input from all interested parties including ratepayers, agents, local authorities, charities, representative bodies and rating professionals. The consultation consists of three sections:
The first focuses on specific proposals to reform Empty Property Relief, to address the most widely used and publicised means of business rates avoidance.
The second serves as a call for evidence on wider avoidance and evasion activity within the business rates system. The Government welcomes any information respondents have on other methods of avoidance and evasion, and the scale of such activity.
The final section concerns poor practice by some rating agents. The Government recognises that most rating agents provide a valuable service to their clients to a high professional standard, however some agents seek to take advantage of or actively promote avoidance strategies. The consultation will seek to understand the nature and scale of any issues, and identify potential action to help address poor practice.