The last business rates revaluation was in 2010. The forthcoming 2017 revaluation is overdue, given that it is supposed to take place every five years.
Regardless of the lateness, and its implication for the rental values upon which rateable values are based, the time for businesses to act is imminent. This is because the revaluation will draw on information supplied to the Valuation Office this year.
The 2017 revaluation will be based on annual rental values as at 1 April 2015. The Valuation Office’s Rent Return forms are currently being sent out to businesses.
“There will be the standard 56 days period within which they have to be completed and returned,” explains Business Rates expert Paul Giness of The Beattie Partnership. “Like a tax return, it is vital, therefore, that business owners complete the return accurately and on time.”
“The revaluation is an inescapable fact of life for businesses. The important thing is to be absolutely clear about what information is going on the return. This includes any incentives which became prominent during the credit crunch as these could have consequences for the Rateable Values when they’re set in 2017.”
A huge number of appeals are currently submitted over business rates, around 500 a day. Many of these will be successful, but the process is lengthy and time consuming, with a huge backlog. Getting the details right on the Rent Return could save businesses a lot of pain to come.
“It really is a case of a stitch in time,” concludes Paul. “What you include on your Rent Return now might well save you money, and heartache, when your property’s rateable value is revalued in 2017. This is particularly if you have open market evidence which has dropped from the last revaluation.”
Property Aspects values Paul Giness’ guidance on this matter.