Business rates are a major cost to pubs, who pay a disproportionate amount compared to other sectors. We believe major reform is required and until that point additional relief should be given specifically for pubs.
23 April 2019
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today commented on new pub closure data released by Altus Group. According to the data, almost 1,000 UK pubs closed in 2018 – a rate of 76 pubs a month. This was down from 138 closures a month during the previous seven years. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments: “It is great that pub closures decreased last year, and Altus Group is right that the Government’s support on business rates for smaller pubs has helped ease the decline. “However, too many pubs are still closing because of huge tax pressures from elsewhere, especially from eye-wateringly high beer duty and VAT, so we cannot be complacent. “On a typical pint we pay 46 pence in beer duty and cutting this is one of the best ways to help pubs. Pubs pay on average £140,000 in tax each year. This is why we support the Long Live the Local campaign, which is calling for a cut in beer tax, and as the BBPA we continue to ask for more help on business rates.”
29 March 2019
If they haven’t already, pubs will soon receive a form of return from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Publicans have just 56 days to complete and return the form, or they could be liable for a penalty Failure to respond could also mean higher business rates bills and fines, BBPA warns pubs The BBPA is alerting publicans that they need to act quickly in response to a looming letter from the VOA about their rateable valuation, if they want to avoid fines and unnecessary ‘red tape’. The call comes because the VOA is once again commencing the data collection process ahead of the next revaluation period, which commences in April 2021. As is practice, the VOA are now writing to licensees requesting trading data that will feed into the revaluation process. This information will be used to calculate the rateable value of every pub in England and Wales, which forms the basis on which every pub’s business rates bill is calculated. From receiving the forms, publicans have an initial 28 days to respond, followed by a second reminder two weeks later, which provides a further two weeks to reply. If the form isn’t returned within this 56 day time-limit, publicans could be liable for a penalty, as well as a longer form to fill out for the VOA. If publicans have any questions about the survey, the VOA encourages the publicans to contact them directly. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “To avoid more hassle and unnecessary paperwork, all licensees should look out for this short form from today and return it as soon as possible. While we continue to lead the call for a fairer rating system for pubs and a total review of business rates, further burdens and inconvenience can be avoided by looking out for this short form from the VOA and acting quickly to fill it in as soon as it arrives.”