All commercial premises in England and Wales have been revalued by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The Valuation Office Agency is an executive agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the new rateable values will be used to calculate your business rates liability up to 2022 and possibly beyond.
These new rateable values took effect on 1 April 2017 and a draft rating list was published on 30 September 2016. This gave ratepayers or their agents six months to identify any factual errors for the VOA to correct before the list is used to calculate their new business rates bill from 1 April 2017.
From 1 April 2017 ratepayers were able to challenge the Rateable Value of their premises. We strongly recommend that you have a professional business rates specialist such as ourselves deal with this on your behalf.
The VOA have introduced a new process, known as ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ which is designed to limit the number of speculative appeals submitted and ensure that challenges to the rating valuation is more evidence based. These three stages must be completed sequentially and there are time limits between each step.
- CHECK – In this stage we can review the facts on which your valuation is based and gather evidence to support a reduction. If the Valuation Office Agency accepts our factual argument they will amend the rateable value which will result in a saving on your business rates bill. If the facts are still in dispute we will proceed to the next stage on your behalf.
- CHALLENGE – We have the experience and expertise to deal with the Valuation Office on your behalf and present evidence, such as accurate and relevant information on comparable properties, to support a revised valuation. If an agreement still can’t be reached following our discussions with the Valuation Office then, with your permission, we will proceed to the next stage.
- APPEAL – We will represent you in an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal which will require comprehensive evidence supporting our case for a reduction. In the past there has been no charge for taking a case to the Tribunal, but under the new scheme the Tribunal require a payment of up to £300. This will be returned if the appeal is successful.
Business Rates is one of your biggest business expenses. The new rating list will affect how much you pay over the coming years. Please contact us to see how we can help to keep this cost to a minimum.