Common sense prevails as controversial Staircase Tax abolished

Small businesses across the land will be celebrating as the Chancellor confirmed the abolition of the Staircase Tax.

In August 2017, business owners were shocked when the Supreme Court ruled in Woolway v Mazars that revaluations of the business rate tax by the Valuation Office Agency would be backdated to April 2015.

The so-called Staircase Tax would have seen businesses that occupied different floors within the same property, but separated by communal spaces including staircases, corridors and lifts, paying separate business rates for each hereditament.

Mr Hammond said in his Budget 2017 speech that he had ‘listened’ to businesses that were affected by the contentious ruling.

The law will now be amended to reverse the tax to show that contiguous properties (whether by exclusive access or otherwise) will now be classed as one hereditament. If a business chooses, the original business rate bill will now be reinstated and backdated.

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