David Jetuah, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 16:17:00

Unless they lodge claims by 30 September, companies occupying commercialpremises between 1 April 2007 and April 2010 could miss out on 200m ofbackdated small business rate relief

Small businesses face losing out on at least 200m in backdated rate reliefunless they lodge claims by next week.

Unless they lodge claims by the 30 September deadline businesses occupyingcommercial premises between 1 April 2007 and April 2010 could miss out on thebackdated small business rate relief according to figures from propertyspecialist LeaseholdersUnited.

LeaseholdersUnited?s Andrew Bacon, who is Property Adviser to thenot-for-profit business support and lobby group the Forum of Private Business,said the problem is being made worse because too few business owners are awarethat they can claim the relief.

Bacon said many local councils fail to provide details of the relief, publishinaccurate information and that some even continue to provide outdated,ineligible forms.

"Claiming backdated SBRR before 30 September 2010 could mean that a smallbusiness paying 5000 a year in rent gets a cheque back from the council that isenough to cover its overheads until March 2011, just for filling in a form,?said Bacon.

Mr Bacon urged business owners to follow five simple steps in order to makesure they submit claims before the 30 September deadline using the correctforms:

-Firstly, go to www.sbrr.co.uk

-Enter your local authority details and your email address

-Receive the correct form, together with completion notes and a fax numberfor the council

-Fill it in and fax it off before 30 September 2010

-If eligible the Council will send the business a cheque and then alsoautomatically grant any Small Business Rate Relief from 1 April 2010 onwards.

"Many businesses have downloaded claim forms for free from www.sbrr.co.uk inthe last 2 days, enabling them to claim as much as 5000 each," Bacon added.

"Had they waited until 1 October to do this, they would only have been ableto claim 2000,? he said.

"Time is running out so it is important to act now," Bacon added.

" The simple solution is for every business to send in the correct claim formbefore 30 September 2010. Those who are not eligible will simply be rejected butthose that are eligible will get the money they deserve.?

Further reading:

Privatebusinesses call for Time to Pay increase