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Courts reward compliance in business rates cases

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Courts reward compliance in business rates casesBusinesses that seek good advice and comply absolutely with the letter of the law will have the backing of the courts in their application for legitimate avoidance of business rates tax, according to national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).
 
The two increasingly popular routes for businesses to apply for the legitimate avoidance of business tax rates are to exercise rights under Empty Property Rate (EPR) and charitable rate relief legislation.
 
Mark Clapham, regional director of rating at LSH, said: “In order to make a successful claim, it is vital that the claimant is able to demonstrate absolute compliance with the letter of the law.
 
“Failure to do so provides local authorities, motivated by budget constraints, with the opportunity to argue in the courts that these applications ought to be set aside.”
 
Recent cases of unsuccessful claims and the impact it can have on businesses are clear: the rejection of a claim by the charity ‘Kenya Aid Programme’ for 80% charitable relief on business rates for two warehouses left the charity with a rates bill of £3.3m, when the charity’s reported income was just £81,000.
 
Mark added: “There is little doubt that local authorities are frustrated at what they perceive to be the abuse of the system of rates relief. However, courts are clear that their role is to uphold the law rather than offer opinion.”

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 5th December 2013

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