KPMG has warned retailers that they are likely to face rate hikes because the rateable value is linked to rental costs, which have spiralled by 24% over the past five years. However, the retail warehouse sector could be hardest hit as rents have risen by 33% over the same period.
Business rates are second only to rent in terms of property occupancy costs and KPMG has calculated that retailers could save 20% if they challenged the rate review. KPMG’s head of retail Amanda Aldridge said: “For the 1990 and 1995 valuation lists, over 1.5 million appeals were launched against the levels of rates being charged - half of which resulted in rate reductions with average savings of 20%.”
She said businesses could benefit from a raft of local property tax allowances, reliefs and exemptions. “I would always advocate that businesses keep a much closer eye on the business rate charge, challenge it where necessary and make the most of all available allowances. With the clock ticking in the run-up to the next revaluation the time to act on this is now.”