The Government has announced plans to extend the doubling up of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme by a further 12 months to April 2014.
The move was announced in last week’s Autumn Statement and sees 350,000 businesses taken out of business rates until 2014, and over half a million small businesses benefit from the extension.
The scheme was introduced by Labour chancellor Alistair Darling in March 2010 and saw ratepayers receive relief of 50 per cent on properties with a rateable value of up to £6,000 and a tiered relief from 50 per cent to 0 per cent relief for properties up to £12,000.
The 50 per cent relief was doubled to 100 per cent for qualifying ratepayers until 2012, which was extended to 2013 by chancellor George Osborne in last year’s Autumn statement.
Osborne has now extended the relief by a further twelve months.
The chancellor also announced the Government is temporarily increasing the annual investment allowance for small and medium size businesses from £25,000 to £250,000 until 2014.
This allows firms to claim full tax relief on expenditure on plant and machinery up to a total of £250,000 a year.
Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “People tend to forget how important small businesses are to the economy and how many people they actually employ as a whole. At a difficult time, anything which can reduce their load in terms of tax or business rates has got to be a good thing.”