Business rate deadlines to be aware of
Rob Cohen, partner in the business rates team at national property consultancy Sanderson Weatherall, talks through a couple of deadlines that all businesses should be aware of.
In April this year, we saw the first business rates revaluation in seven years. The revaluation changed the amount that millions of businesses across the country will pay in business rates. It also came with a raft of headlines concerning what impact the new appeals process; Check Challenge Appeal (CCA) and Valuation Office Agency (VOA) job cuts, will have on how businesses can appeal their business rates.
But amongst all the recent noise, we haven’t heard much about the final appeal deadlines relating to the previous Rating List.
There are two final deadlines for businesses to be able to appeal, and see a potential reduction, in their rateable values from the 2010 Rating List. After these dates, contesting rateable values will be limited to the new rateable values in the 2017 Rating List.
The first date to be aware of is 30 September 2017, which is the deadline to place an appeal citing a relevant court or tribunal decision. This includes anything from the Supreme Court decisions that have hit the headlines over the last couple of years, to Valuation Tribunal decisions which might concern a small parade of shops.
Two major Supreme Court cases which will impact rateable values for many property owners, occupiers and developers are Woolway v Mazars (now being referred to as the staircase tax), which related to units of assessment and whether properties should be assessed as one or more assessment. The other is the Newbigin v Monk case, which concerned the approach to be taken for properties undergoing redevelopment works.
Over recent years there have also been Upper Tribunal decisions which affect businesses in the healthcare, leisure and public sectors. These include the correct valuation methodology for surgeries and museums, as well as decisions relating to the valuation of restaurants, premises affected by changes in competition, and many more.
To make a valid appeal, a business will need to state why the decision is relevant, giving a causal link between their property and the court decision.
The second deadline to be aware of is 31 March 2018. This is when the VOA has to have served any notices going back into the 2010 Rating List. Up until that date, where a property has been physically altered between April 2010 and March 2015, the VOA can amend the rateable value from 1 April 2015, or can alter the assessment from the date of the event if the physical change occurred after 1 April 2015. Once a notice has been served, there is a six month window to place an appeal challenging it.
Once these two deadlines have passed, the door will be firmly shut on the 2010 List and the only changes a business can make will be those arising from the appeals already in the system, which presently stands at a staggering 230,000.
To find out whether your business could submit an appeal before these deadlines, or for general advice on business rates and how to appeal your rateable value, please contact Rob Cohen on 0113 221 6120 or email him at email@example.com.