Whilst the current focus in business rates is, quite understandbly, aimed mainly at the Revaluation effective 1 April 2017, it is also recognised that the current system can be improved.
A former chairman of RBS in Scotland, Ken Barclay, is to lead a Scottish government review of business rates.
The consultation period closed in October 2016 and the findings of the review are expected to be published in July this year. Mr Barclay has commeted as follows:
“I am very happy to head up the Scottish Government’s review of business rates alongside a talented team. The group members are, Isobel d’Inverno, Professor Russel Griggs, David Henderson and Nora Senior. This is a highly skilled team with significant experience in areas including entrepreneurship, tax, banking and investment, local and national government.
“As a group we will consider how business rates can respond to wider economic conditions and support business growth and long-term investment.
“Our aim is to bring forward recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the system to better support business growth and reflect changing marketplaces whilst still maintaining the level of income necessary to provide funding for services upon which businesses rely. We have no doubt that this will prove to be a challenging task but I believe collectively we have the ability to make the most of this opportunity.
“To help us achieve this task I would urge all businesses to make their views known on the way forward for our rates system. For the next three months we will be asking businesses, large and small, across the length and breadth of Scotland to contribute to our conversation so we can design a solution together."
We await with interest to hear Mr Barclay's findings and conclusions and will update in due course.