Not even Santa has escaped the clutches of the VOA, the Government Tax office that sets business rates. According to John Webber, Head of Business Rating at Colliers International, the global real estate agency and consultancy, the rateable value of Santa’s Lapland outpost in the Ascot* branch has increased by over 300% due to the 2017 Revaluation.
Last year (2016-7), Santa’s rate bill in Ascot was £21,780. This is increasing to:
2021 -22 £88,038.98 – an increase of 304%
Santa was unavailable for comment- there was talk of reindeer food being cut back and he was busy training his elves following the new Apprenticeship levy.
Chief Elf decided to appeal against the new rates and as CFO of Santa’s company tried to register for the new CCA- Check Challenge Appeal system. Unfortunately, as he doesn't hold a NI number or UK Passport this is currently preventing him from registering on the Government Gateway.
He is now writing to his MP to see if something can be done to help prevent Santa Inc closing its sacks next year.
John Webber of Colliers commented, " Jesting aside, these figures show how many businesses are suffering from the rating revaluation and the situation looks likely to get worse for many. How small businesses will cope with rates rises of over 300% beggars belief. Let's hope we don't see a dampening of the Christmas spirit in years ahead. "