In his March 2016 Budget, George Osborne announced several measures which will impact retailers. Here is a reminder of the three main ones...

  1. Sugar Tax: From April 2018 producers and importers of soft drinks with "significant added sugar" will be subject to a sugar tax. The tax will be levied at a main rate and a higher rate for drinks depending on the amount of sugar in the beverage. The impact on retailers will depend on whether manufacturers choose to soak up the extra cost themselves or let it trickle down to consumers, and whether higher prices will ultimately work as an effective deterrent causing sales of fizzy drinks to fall flat.
  2. Small Business Rates Relief: Business rates are a real cost to retailers. Several changes to the rules will see a welcome reduction in the tax payable by small businesses. From 1 April 2017 businesses with a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will not pay any business rates at all . The threshold rateable value for the standard business rates will also increase.
  3. SDLT: From 16 March 2017 SDLT on non-residential property is calculated in a different way. The top rate will increase from 4% to 5%. The changes mean broadly speaking that for those buying non-residential property for over £1.05m the SDLT cost of an acquisition will increase whereas for those buying property for under that sum less tax will be payable.