On April 1st, business owners across England and Wales were dismayed to find that they no longer had the right to backdate Business Rates Appeals. But rating experts are urging businesses to consider alternative options for clawing back your backdated rates refund.
For companies still struggling under the weight of their business rates, the start of the new Tax Year came as a major blow. New guidelines introduced at the start of April, mean that business rates appeals can only be backdated to 2015 instead of 2010. Thus potentially depriving businesses of many thousands of pounds of potentially re-payable tax.
But there are other ways which, according to rating experts, offer hope for businesses who didn’t appeal their rates before the April deadline.
“Agreements with the Valuation Office following an appeal aren’t the only avenue that is available to businesses challenging their business rates assessment,” explains Paul Giness of The Beattie Partnership. “Requesting changes to the Rating List could also open up new options, including the possibility of backdated refunds.”
The Rating List is a list of every non-domestic property in the UK and its commercial value on the open market in 2008. It’s used by councils to calculate the business rates you pay.
“Many businesses don’t realise that you can ask the Valuation Office to change the Rating List directly. It’s a procedural change as the rules are different, but the result is often the same,” continues Paul. But if the rating List is wrong and can be amended, the outcome could lead to a backdated rebate or rates refund, for some of your business rates.”
There are other ways in which businesses can find themselves with a backdated business rates windfall. If you’ve recently had a Valuation Office Notice, for example, then you have 6 months to challenge it. If the challenge is successful then the result rolls back to the Effective Date of the original Notice. In addition, if a relevant Tribunal Decision can be found this might also give grounds for an appeal; although you are likely to need professional help to find a comparable property. This could mean backdating your rates to 2010.
“It’s worth getting some advice if you missed the April deadline. It may be that you have other options, and those options could recover the backdated tax you thought you’d lost”.
If you would like to know more about your options, call The Beattie Partnership on 0161 228 2224 or visit bepart.co.uk