Few of you would have missed the unprecedented coverage recently in the mainstream media regarding business rates. “Madness”, “shambolic” and “not fit for purpose” are just a few of the comments from business organisations and rating practitioners. As we try to leave the debacle of the 2010 Rating List, with some 300,000 appeals still outstanding, and move to the 2017 Revaluation from 1 April, business rates are becoming even more incomprehensible and tortuous.
As well as the complexities of Small Business Rate Relief and transitional provisions, the Government are introducing a fundamental overhaul of the appeals system. “Check, Challenge and Appeal” will reduce the taxpayers' ability to challenge their rating assessment with a clear intention to cut down the number of appeals.
We are now only a matter of days away from the commencement of the 2017 Rating List. Any ratepayer wishing to investigate their new rateable value will have to do so online using the Government Gateway and by following the new process of Check, Challenge and Appeal, which is being adopted in England by the Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency sponsored by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The new process fundamentally changes the approach taken to the investigation of rateable values and this will require much greater input from the ratepayer in the process. In the absence of a guidance note for the ratepayer on what is required by the new system, the professional bodies (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Rating Surveyors Association and Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation) have compiled a briefing note to assist the ratepayer in understanding what will be required of them.
Robert McLarin and Chris Sexton at King Wilkinson & Co, who belong to the Rating Surveyors Association and the RICS, would be pleased to assist Chamber members seeking advice.