The government has published draft legislation to reverse the impact of the so-called ‘staircase tax’ to ease pressure on business owners.
This follows a Supreme Court judgement which saw businesses operating in more than one unit in a shared building facing multiple bills where they had previously received one.
Firms in adjoining units, which used a communal staircase between floors, were taxed as if they occupied separate properties.
Some businesses also faced higher rate bills, as the measure meant they lost access to small business rate relief.
According to the government, this has unfairly affected up to 1,000 businesses.
Under the new legislation, businesses will be able to ask the Valuation Office Agency to recalculate their rates under the old single bill system.
Sajid Javid, communities secretary, said:
“The ‘staircase tax’ is an unfair rates hike for businesses.
“I am ending this by giving those businesses affected the option of getting their rates bills recalculated and any savings due backdated.”
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