March 15, 2018

THE CHANCELLOR SPRINGS BUSINESS RATES SURPRISE

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement surprisingly addressed the much talked about issue of the 5 yearly re-valuation of properties across the country with regard to business rates.

The current Rating List, known as the 2017 Rating List was due to run from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2022.  The Chancellor announced however that instead of the 2017 Rating List running for 5 years it would instead be reduced to 4 years until 31 March 2021.  This follows an announcement in the budget last year that the next Rating List would be in place for 3 years as the industry has lobbied for.

The effect of reducing the length of time that a Rating List in in place for works better for ratepayers in our opinion because it enables the Rating List to adjust to changes in value far quicker therefore minimising the increases and decreases that ratepayers face.

The problem however that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) now face is one of resources.  The VOA are undergoing a significant period of restructuring which is seeing many of their more experienced staff leave leaving those remaining struggling under the weight of appeals in place.

Given that the valuation date for the new Rating List (2021 Rating List) will be 1 April 2019 which is just over a year away resources will have to be diverted again to undertake the revaluation for the 2021 Rating List.

When resources were diverted to help implement the 2017 Rating List this had a severe impact on service and it is our fear that the same scenario will happen again.

Whilst therefore the intentions of Philip Hammond are welcome it is our concern that the implementation of the next Rating List will cause more problems in processing existing appeals, not to mention the problems ratepayers are facing registering for Check, Challenge, Appeal.  

For further information or if you would like to speak to FHP about how we may be able to help you with any business rates liabilities you may have please contact Alastair Fearn on 0115 9082100 or alastair@fhp.co.uk.

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