Analysis: Will corporation tax save the high street? Don’t bank on it

Business rates have contributed to store closures but could a rise in corporation tax ease the rates burden?

Following reports that the Retail Sector Council (RSC) was preparing to recommend an increase in corporation tax to fund a cut in business rates, Retail Week discovers it’s far from a done deal.

According to Sky News, a committee of the RSC – the body established by ministers in March 2018 to “inform and challenge both the industry and the government on key issues the industry faces” – had drafted a report urging a 2% increase in corporation tax to finance lower business rates.

The proposal was among “a dozen” likely to be made by the RSC’s business costs working group, which covered “areas ranging from VAT reform to greater transparency around tax and property costs”.

However, a number of sources close to the RSC, which met yesterday, were concerned at the attention the corporation tax change suggestion has drawn, and said that it was ”premature” and even “unhelpful”.

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