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Business Rates Appeals 2017

usiness Rating Appeals 2017

Business Rates in the UK are levied on most non-domestic property.  Also, all business occupying space, pay rates; or more accurately, tax.

The Government has to raise a given amount of tax through Business Rates in any one year but because it is based upon an assessment of notional rental value reassessed from time time (typically every five years) the reassessment can (and does) shift the burden from one use to another.

Rating appeals have therefore been common place, but they have in the eyes of HMRC been too easy to invoke.

The new 2017 List which becomes effective in 1st April 2017 takes over from the 2010 List.  The basis for making an appeal is significantly more onerous on the rate payer and invokes a three step process; Check, Challenge, Appeal.

  1. Check Stage
  • Allowed once per revaluation unless facts change.
  • Confirm physical details the Valuation Office Agency holds about the property.
  • The 12 months to conclude the check.
  • Fines will be levied for false information provided knowingly, recklessly or carelessly.
  1. Challenge Stage
  • The Challenge should be completed within four months of the Check.
  • An alternative valuation must be provided by the appellant.
  • The valuation must include all rental evidence, argument and case law.
  • Post Challenge evidence may prove inadmissible.
  1. Appeal Stage
  • There is 18 months allowed to agree an appeal.
  • The VOA will issue a Decision Notice with explanation.
  • The Decision can be appealed to the Valuation Tribunal within three months of the Decision.
  • Upfront fees to the Tribunal of up to £300 are payable which is refundable if successful.

The new Rating Appeal system is clearly designed to concentrate the mind of the appellant before embarking on what, will, inevitably be a significantly more expensive appeal process.

On a positive note, it should significantly reduce “Have a Go” companies canvassing firms for Rating Appeal business.

If you are at all concerned about the Business Rates which you pay, we recommend you consult a Chartered Surveyor with the necessary rating experience.

Written by Mark S Hanson

December 2016

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