The CIOT/IFS debate on 'Taxing commercial property - time to tweak business rates or replace with a land value tax?' took place on Tuesday 18 June, 6.30-8pm.
This is part of a series of events held jointly by the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies aimed at promoting debate among policy-makers, opinion-formers and the wider tax, economics and business communities on the future of the UK and international tax systems.
The debate explored the question of how commercial property is taxed. This is high on the political agenda at present, with a Treasury Committee inquiry ongoing, and one of the Conservative leadership contenders floating the idea of ending business rates for small businesses on high streets altogether.
Are business rates driving High Street retailers out of business? Do they need reform? Or should we scrap them altogether and replace them with a tax on the value of the land businesses occupy, or something else? What would be the impact of any change, and who would be the winners and losers?
With politicians from Westminster to Edinburgh looking closely at these issues, our expert panel discussed the future of the taxation of commercial property and the options for policy-makers in the years ahead.
The panel consisted of:
Stuart Adam, Senior Research Economist, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Rachel Kelly, Senior Policy Officer (Finance), British Property Federation
Jerry Schurder, Head of Business Rates, Gerald Eve
Peter Wyatt, Professor of Real Estate Appraisal, University of Reading
The debate was chaired by Glyn Fullelove, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation
After opening speeches the floor was opened for a general discussion, with audience members contributing and asking questions.