The 2017 Business Rates Review is set to move a stage closer with the recent publication of the draft rating list for England and Wales by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Those eligible for business rates will be able to see their proposed rateable values resulting from the VOA’s revaluation.
Check, Challenge and Appeal
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is introducing a new appeals system as part of the revaluation. This will have three stages: check, challenge and appeal.
“These proposed rule changes currently apply to England only,” Paul explains. “But the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland are considering changes of their own.”
“When the draft rating list appears, it will be crucial for ratepayers to check the details the VOA has included against their entry,” continues Paul.
The new system has already come under criticism. Many businesses and their rating agents see it as shifting the bureaucratic burden of appeals onto the ratepayer.
“In future, when you commence a Challenge, you will have to justify it with evidence, photographs and valuations. And maybe even precedent and case law,” Paul says. “Under the new system, any Challenge has to be both “meaningful” and “complete“, which means that the devil is in the detail.”
For its part, the Government sees the new system as a way of simplifying the whole process and, at the same time, reducing the number of active investigations resulting from appeals. Currently this is around 200,000, with only about 30% of those appeals lodged being successful.
Doubts and Questions
“As the revaluation progresses, there are still areas of uncertainty,” Paul remarks. “For instance, the Transitional Arrangements are still open to consultation”.
The Government is proposing three phasing bands depending on the size of their new rateable value. Under the proposals those ratepayers with rateable values in excess of £100,000 will be hardest hit. For example, some office locations in London, could see year one increases exceeding 45%.
Separate Transitional schemes are under Consultation for Wales and Scotland.
“There are likely to be testing times ahead,” Paul concludes, “as the new system is put through its paces. Hopefully business ratepayers will ultimately get a fair deal out of it.”
To see your proposed rateable value, please visit https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/view-my-valuation/search
To discover more about how the the draft rating list could financially impact your business, please call The Beattie Partnership on 0161 228 2224.