A Westminster Hall debate has been scheduled for 4.30pm on 5 March on the performance of South West Water. The debate will be opened by Simon Jupp MP.
The debate will take place on the motion: “That this House has considered regulation of business rates reduction services.”
The Government published guidance in July 2017 (updated July 2019) on council tax and business rates scams and the types of scams fraudulent agents may use.
Support is also available for businesses, including business rates grants or holidays, because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Commons Library Briefing Papers
Coronavirus: Support for businesses (8 April 2021) provides an overview of initiatives to support businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
A brief guide to the system of non-domestic rating can be found in Business rates
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Trading Standards in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have issued the following warning:
Every five years, when the new rates are applied to business premises, we get complaints about rogue firms who deliberately target businesses whose rates have increased. They charge fees of around £500 to make an appeal against the revaluation.
Better Retailing warned retailers about a business rates relief scam in early in 2019, that looked to exploit a new retail rates relief scheme that began in April 2019.
In April 2020, The Mirror highlighted a case of a company being charged for a securing a reduction in business rates although this was something available to all businesses under the Government’s Coronavirus rescue package.
External sources of support for businesses
Trading Standards fund national teams that are hosted within local authorities. These include the eCrime, Feed, Regional Investigations, Estate Agency, Intelligence and Scams Teams.
Find your local Trading Standards office. Enter your postcode to find a Trading Standards office near you to complain about illegal sales activity.
Some legal firms have published advise on rate reduction firms:
- How to stop rate reduction firms skimming your business rate savings, Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors, 28 February 2019
- Beware of business reduction scams, Howes Percival, 27 February 2019
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