Will the budget bring business rates relief?

Published on: 15th March 2016

Many businesses will be disappointed by the outcome of the current business rates review expected in The Budget explains Robert Brown BSc FRICS FIRRV, partner at Sanderson Weatherall and current president of The Rating Surveyors’ Association.

The government raises some £23 billion per annum from business rates and this funding would always have to be found from somewhere – so large scale changes are unlikely in the near future.  Instead the business rates review is almost certain to confirm that the 2017 rating revaluation will have its full effect and that any radical new future proposals will be firmly pushed back to 2020 or beyond. 

What’s more, UK businesses are about to receive their new business rates bills and for many ratepayers yet another increase in outgoings will prove unpalatable, if not unacceptable.

The anticipated rise of around 0.83 per cent is not nearly as high as the expected four per cent council tax rise planned for many households, but that is hardly likely to have business occupiers dancing in the streets!

However, with the valuation date moving forward seven years from April 2008 to April 2015, business rates should once again be more fairly based on the current rents that tenants actually pay to their landlords.

After all, the idea of a revaluation is not to increase business rates charged, rather it is to “reset the clock” to up-to-date values and thereby provide relief to those businesses whose property rents have clearly fallen due to the recent recession.

As rental values for many types of property have not recovered to their pre-recession levels, many shops, offices and industrial properties in Yorkshire and the rest of the north will enjoy newer, much lower rateable values.

However, the government will typically introduce a transitional relief scheme to phase in value changes on any new revaluation.  This could result in large offices in the City of London having their expected increases in rates phased in over several years, in effect funded by businesses in the north of England which may have justifiably expected to receive big falls in their rates bills straightaway. This will not be clarified until 2017, and is certainly something that businesses in the rest of the UK should be aware of.

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Business Rates

Sanderson Weatherall Rating specialists are RICS and IRRV qualified surveyors that can offer a comprehensive range of Rating services to clients including Rating Appeals, Rating Valuations, Rates Management and Rates Audit, together with cutting edge advice on Empty Rates mitigation. Regarded as experts in the field, all our senior staff are members of the Rating Surveyors' Association and are able to offer the very best Rates advice on the accuracy of Rating assessments and resultant Business Rates liabilities. Through our experts' memberships of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation we are also happy to assist clients who have international local property tax liabilities. We participate in the activities of both of these professional bodies at the highest level and negotiate with government on the introduction of all new non domestic rating proposals. On the 1st April 2017 the new rating lists were published across England and Wales and from that date, businesses looking to challenge their business rates were required to do so through HMRC’s Government Gateway. If you don’t currently have an account then please follow the steps in our guide to setting up a Government Gateway account, registering properties and appointing an agent here.    Contact Us

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Sanderson Weatherall Rating specialists are RICS and IRRV qualified surveyors that can offer a comprehensive range of Rating services to clients including Rating Appeals, Rating Valuations, Rates Management and Rates Audit, together with cutting edge advice on Empty Rates mitigation.

Regarded as experts in the field, all our senior staff are members of the Rating Surveyors' Association and are able to offer the very best Rates advice on the accuracy of Rating assessments and resultant Business Rates liabilities. Through our experts' memberships of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation we are also happy to assist clients who have international local property tax liabilities. We participate in the activities of both of these professional bodies at the highest level and negotiate with government on the introduction of all new non domestic rating proposals.

On the 1st April 2017 the new rating lists were published across England and Wales and from that date, businesses looking to challenge their business rates were required to do so through HMRC’s Government Gateway.

If you don’t currently have an account then please follow the steps in our guide to setting up a Government Gateway account, registering properties and appointing an agent here. 

 

Contact Us

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Video Guide to the 2017 Business Rates Revaluation

We have launched a seven video guide to the April 2017 Business Rates Revaluation. With the April 2017 business rates revaluation approaching, we have created a video series to help you understand what will be happening over the coming months, how the revaluation could affect your business and what you can do to plan for it.  

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We have launched a seven video guide to the April 2017 Business Rates Revaluation.

With the April 2017 business rates revaluation approaching, we have created a video series to help you understand what will be happening over the coming months, how the revaluation could affect your business and what you can do to plan for it.

 

[fulltext] =>

 

We have launched a seven video guide to the April 2017 Business Rates Revaluation.

 Our short videos look at the following questions:

 

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Business Rates changes cause controversy

Ratepayers appeals that have already been delayed for several years whilst the hard-pushed Valuation Office Agency struggles to produce the 2017 Rating Revaluation now face the prospect of being deemed invalid or void due to a controversial Rating decision by the UK Supreme Court. 

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Ratepayers appeals that have already been delayed for several years whilst the hard-pushed Valuation Office Agency struggles to produce the 2017 Rating Revaluation now face the prospect of being deemed invalid or void due to a controversial Rating decision by the UK Supreme Court. 

[fulltext] =>

Leading accountancy group Mazars were the subject of a Supreme Court decision last year due to the company owning offices on separate floors of a building. The court ruled that the floors should be treated as separate properties for business rates, a decision that significantly increased their rates bill.

In leaked documents made public by the Mail on Sunday it was revealed that in the future valuation officers should use the Woolway v Mazars case as a model for other companies, a decision that overturns practice that had previously been in place for over 50 years.

Any firms affected by the changes could face their current appeals being dismissed and would therefore be required to make new claims for each area of their premises.

Unless the government act quickly to change the law, ratepayers could stand to lose millions of pounds in anticipated rates rebates that should otherwise be forthcoming due to challenges in rateable value.

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