It has been reported in the press that there has been a 39 percent increase in the amount charities are claiming for tax relief against business rates. The total rose to almost a £1bn pa of tax relief by March 2010 according to the treasury.
The number of charity shops increased from 75,800 to 79,100 throughout this time – an increase of in excess of 5% and the visual evidence of many High Streets since this time suggests that this upward trend is continuing.
As one of our Independent Chartered Surveyors commented who deals with both Commercial and Residential Property issues reports:
“There does appear to be an upward trend in the appearance of the Charity Shop on the High Street as a legitimate way of avoiding paying Business Rates Liabilities. Whilst the Landlord reduces his liabilities and helps his cash flow, this unfortunately in some areas lowers the tone of the retail environment which is to the detriment of the other retailers nearby.
This can create a more downmarket retail area in some towns as the amount of money spent on the High Street continues to get eroded by the Supermarkets and Internet Shopping.
This is only likely to dramatically increase in April 2011 with the new lower limit relief being reduced from £18,000 rateable value to £2,600 rateable value.
This will potentially have an enormous impact on the small scale property owners in small towns and other peripheral property owners who are fighting the current harsh economic conditions. “
A Local Independent Surveyor can advise you if you wish to consider making an appeal or put you in touch with a suitably experienced local professional who can assist in an appeal or valuation to make sure that you are not paying too much.