The 2017 Business Rates Revaluation
The 2017 Rating List began on 1 April 2017 and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), when the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) updated the Rateable Value (RV) of all commercial premises for the next 5 years, in a process known as ‘revaluation’. At revaluation, the Government alters the level of Business Rates to reflect changes in the property market. This was the first revaluation exercise for 7 years, and as expected major alterations have been seen across England and Wales.
A new business appeals system was introduced to coincide with the 2017 Revaluation. How commercial property is valued, and Business Rates are calculated remains unchanged, and companies with property in Wales are still subject to the Appeal system that has been in place for previous Rating Periods. However, there has been a significant change in terms of what happens when a ratepayer with commercial property in England suspects their Business Rates bill is inaccurate and they want to appeal.
This new process, called Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) is now in place. The CCA system creates a range of barriers and disincentives, mainly in the shape of technical requirements. Fines have also been introduced for careless mistakes or submission of incorrect details.
As with all areas of taxation, professional support makes it possible to navigate the potential pitfalls and secure a fair deal.
The reform has introduced an element of uncertainty to the business rates process and puts an even greater responsibility on to the ratepayer to ensure they are paying the correct amount.
Skilled and experienced support to bring clarity to the rates bill is now more important than ever before. Understanding how the property has been assessed, and challenging successfully where there are grounds to contest the valuation, is why
The Chancellor has stated that Britain will reduce the annual rise in business rates by bringing forward a planned change in the way the tax is calculated.
Business Rates are a form of tax for which ratepayers see no direct benefit, and are levied on most commercial properties, including shops, warehouses, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Mr Hammond has said he will accept the representations of the big business organizations and bring forward the planned switch from using RPI (Retail Price Index) to CPI (Consumer Price Index), which is lower, to calculate the tax, by two years to April 2018.
The move is worth £2.3 billion to businesses over the next five years, according to the Exchequer.
In reality, this is likely to have any real effect and many businesses still face uncertainty from rising costs and inaccurate valuations of their premises.