Business rates: the latest update
Published July 14th, 2016
With the national revaluation due on 1st April 2017, some aspects of the new regime are known, but several key aspects are not and there is some good and bad news. The valuation date for this exercise will be 1st April 2015 and draft assessments will be available on 1st October 2016. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) continues to send out Rating Returns which Berrys can help its clients with.
Good News for SMEs
- The Small Business Rates Relief scheme has been made permanent.
- Qualifying small businesses with rateable values of less than £12,000 will receive 100% relief and tapered relief between rateable values of £12,000 and £15,000.
- The small business Uniform Business Rate will now be applied to rateable values of up to £51,000.
- Most commentators believe that the Uniform Business Rate will rise by approximately 15%. A decision is expected in December 2016.
- Details of the phasing in of increases and decreases in rates liability as a result of the revaluation are yet unknown. Again a decision is expected in December 2016.
- The appeals procedure, although still unknown, is likely to be tightened. Current thinking is a three stage process, Check, Challenge and Appeal:-
- Check – the onus to be transferred to the ratepayer to provide facts of the building with fines for false information.
- Challenge – the ratepayer will be required to provide a full written case including all evidence / rental evidence, case law it will be relying on and a full argument for a reduction to a specified figure. The VOA will have 18 months in which to issue its decision.
- Appeal – the ratepayer will have a further 4 months from the VOA’s decision within which to appeal. An appeal fee of £300 is expected, which might be refundable if the appeal is successful.
Berrys continue to offer existing and new clients its advice and expertise in this increasingly complex field of taxation.