Marco Forgione and Sadiq Khan
Marco Forgione and Sadiq Khan.

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From April, art and antiques dealers, along with other small business traders, could be hit by increases of up to 400% a month. They also face a requirement by HMRC to report tax on a quarterly rather than yearly basis, via digital rather than paper means.

Forgione spoke to Sadiq Khan just ahead of the latter’s meeting with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, and the mayor requested a briefing note on how the two issues will affect the art and antiques trade.

The Chancellor is preparing to deliver his first budget on Wednesday 8 March and small business trade bodies hope for relief on both tax reporting and business rates.

“I told Sadiq that London is a global centre of excellence for the art and antiques trade but that the government’s plans for tax and rates will have a significantly detrimental effect on these businesses,” Forgione said.

In particular, BADA has asked that the Chancellor review the timetable for introducing quarterly reporting, that it should not be mandatory and to consider significant business rate exemptions for shops on the high street.  

Listening mode

The mayor promised to make representation to the Chancellor about the antiques trade on both issues, Forgione said. 

BADA has joined other business trade bodies to campaign against changes to tax reporting and business rates, in particular HMRC’s ‘Make Tax Digital’ scheme, announced in March 2015, as it does not take small businesses’ uneven cash flows into account.

The revaluation of business rates meanwhile, the first such reassessment in seven years, will involve companies paying rates that take into account property value increases since 2008.

“I asked the mayor how it can be right that an antiquarian map dealer in Cecil Court, London, who does not own his or her premises and so will not gain from property value appreciation, faces a 20% increase in their business rates, while Amazon will have a net reduction in its business rates because it is located outside London,” Forgione said.