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Bricks vs Clicks: Addressing the Retail Business Rates Disparity

8th January 2021

COVID-19 has prompted many to call for change to the existing business rates system, which proponents have said should rebalance the taxation difference between the two retail factions.

Though bricks and mortar retail has qualified for a business rates discount between April 2020 and March 2021, key players in the industry are putting renewed pressure on the government to re-evaluate the system before retailers with physical premises are subject to full business rates taxation once more.

The pandemic has increased the nation’s reliance on online retail beyond what many would have forecasted for 2020 and 2021. This clear trend is highlighted within KPMG’s retail sales monitor.

Vivienne King, CEO of Revo, has stated that she is working with the BPF to push the chancellor to implement a new system that will account for the fact that online retailers contribute just 6% of retail’s total business rates, despite having more than a 30% share of the market.

Many believe that, if these calls are heard, the government will implement a joint reduction of rates for brick and mortar retailers whilst simultaneously creating an online and delivery tax on items sold by online retailers.

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