The DCMS want to hear from you.
The Tourism Industry Council have recently been discussing the issue surrounding Business Rates, following on from the meeting the Minister is now calling for comments on the impact from tourism businesses and have asked for any comments to be sent to [email protected]
For further information on business rates please refer to the DCMS here.
2017 Business Rates – the Check, Challenge and Appeal Process
The Valuation Office published the Draft 2017 Rating List on 30th September last year and ratepayers have the ability to request a review of their new valuation prior to the new Rating List coming into force on 1st April 2017.Government has announced the rate multipliers to be applied to the Rateable Value and a transitional relief scheme which is far less attractive than at previous Revaluations.
In England authorities are adopting a new appeal system and this will be more complicated and time consuming. From April ratepayers will have to complete two preliminary stages, including setting up a Government Gateway account before a formal appeal can even commence.
Draft regulations set out ‘Check/ Challenge/ Appeal’ as a multi-stage, sequential process that requires more admin and information at almost every stage. Businesses will risk penalties for knowingly, recklessly or carelessly providing false information. Confirmation of draft regulations is still awaited but a summary of the current position is set out below:-
Check – An initial stage to review the facts upon which the rating assessment is based with an obligation on the ratepayer to agree or correct the facts. If the Valuation Office accepts these factual changes then they will amend the Rateable Value. A challenge would still be required to review valuation issues.
Challenge – This second stage will require comprehensive rental evidence and other information and submission of a revised valuation. This level of detail will be required before the Valuation Office divulge any information whatsoever upon which their opinion of values is based. Following a proportionate response to any evidence the VO will issue a Decision Notice, following which, if the business rates payer is unhappy with the outcome, they can make an additional appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.
Appeal – For the first time an appeal will require a fee, likely to be £300. The appeal will rely largely on the evidence put forward at the Challenge stage with limited ability to add additional evidence. The draft regulations also introduce a new concept which will limit the Valuation Tribunal to amending a rateable value only where the valuation is “outside the bounds of reasonable professional judgement” - a phrase that will no doubt take many years of case law to establish its meaning! The introduction of this measure is still to be formally announced.
Click here for the check, challenge and appeal guidance.