SMEs left sweltering in the heat by business rates system

07 Aug 2018

The little-known tax which hits SMEs that have air conditioning, has come into question as Britain bakes in the most prolonged heatwave in history.

Currently, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) says having air conditioning adds value to property. As a result, SMEs face higher rate bills. This covers most business premises, including offices, shops and industrial units.

Martin McTague, FSB Chairman, Advocacy & Policy, said this week that the time has come for the Government to remove this so-called Aircon Tax:

“As temperatures rise in the country’s shops, offices and industrial units, it’s absurd that a business owner gets clobbered with a huge tax bill for investing in their business and trying to keep workers cool and business productive.

“This is just one example of how unfair and regressive the system is, hitting firms before they’ve made their first penny in turnover, let alone profit.”

Other assets that the VOA uses as a means to further increase, already hefty, business rates bills include CCTV systems, fire alarms, lifts and solar panels.*

At Beavis Morgan, we understand the demands placed on SMEs in this convoluted and sometimes confrontational tax environment. We therefore work at understanding you, your business and its unique issues, and provide advice and solutions to help you improve your net worth and increase growth and profitability. We even liaise with HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf, so you don’t have to.

Our diverse team of tax professionals are committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.

Contact Paul Attridge your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your business.

* Note: The VOA will include certain business assets in their valuation. For example, plant and machinery may add value to a property and therefore certain types of plant and machinery are likely to be shown separately in a valuation. - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-non-domestic-property-including-plant-and-machinery-is-valued