Rates relief process plagued by delays

Published on: 17th August 2017

The Government has recently intervened in an attempt to speed up business rates relief to thousands of small businesses across the country that have been adversely affected.

Despite being promised millions of pounds of support in March’s Budget, many firms who lost small business rates relief as a consequence of the 2017 revaluation are still waiting for their bills to be adjusted and relief to be applied.

During the 2017 revaluation the majority of businesses saw little change to their bills but it is estimated that there were nearly 25,000 small companies that lost their entitlement to small business rates relief and faced rates rises of up to 3,000%.

Following the increase of the threshold for small business rates relief, Chancellor Philip Hammond assured those companies that missed out that their bills wouldn’t go up by more than £50 a month.  These measures have been overcome by delays, with many Local Authorities stating they are unable to amend bills without further guidance being published by the Government.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "We've been clear that Local Authorities should take urgent steps to make sure small businesses benefit from the funding that we announced at the Budget in April.”

"There are Councils that have pressed ahead and issued revised bills. Others have chosen to wait for software updates to deliver this particular scheme and we've taken steps to make sure business get this relief as quickly as possible."

Rob Cohen, partner in our rating team in Leeds, commented, “These delays are causing significant confusion for firms across the country and are unfortunately just another sign of a failing system that is serious need of further reform.”

Unsure how the delays might affect you? Speak to Rob on 0113 221 6120 or email him at rob.cohen@sw.co.uk

Contact Us

Changes in the way business rates are appealed

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. One of the biggest changes to business rates following the 2017 Rating Revaluation was the introduction of the ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ in an attempt from the government to reform the rating appeal system. A key component of the new system is that it will be necessary for ratepayers to set up a secure Government Gateway account, add their properties and appoint an agent to act on their behalf by electronically managing the check, challenge and appeal process.

Read More....

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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.

One of the biggest changes to business rates following the 2017 Rating Revaluation was the introduction of the ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ in an attempt from the government to reform the rating appeal system.

A key component of the new system is that it will be necessary for ratepayers to set up a secure Government Gateway account, add their properties and appoint an agent to act on their behalf by electronically managing the check, challenge and appeal process.

[fulltext] =>

You may already have a Gateway account set up to complete other tasks online. If you already have an account then you can follow the steps in our guide here.

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.

To appoint Sanderson Weatherall as your agent please use the code below.

40523

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/news/8-latest-news/1262-changes-in-the-way-business-rates-are-appealed?layout=default&breadcrumb=noimage

Business Rates Budget Highlights 2017

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond gave his first budget to Parliament last week. The Chancellor acknowledged the concerns surrounding business rates but declared that they could not be abolished as he announced changes that will equal a further £435million cut in business rates. Key business rates highlights Business rates will not be abolished but the Chancellor suggested that there would be another consultation on business rates, to find a way of suitably taxing the digital economy. A cap will be put in place for businesses moving from the small business rates relief that will ensure that their monthly business rates bill does not increase by more than £50 per month.

Read More....

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond gave his first budget to Parliament last week. The Chancellor acknowledged the concerns surrounding business rates but declared that they could not be abolished as he announced changes that will equal a further £435million cut in business rates.

Key business rates highlights

  • Business rates will not be abolished but the Chancellor suggested that there would be another consultation on business rates, to find a way of suitably taxing the digital economy.
  • A cap will be put in place for businesses moving from the small business rates relief that will ensure that their monthly business rates bill does not increase by more than £50 per month. [fulltext] =>
  • All pubs with a rateable value less than £100,000 will get a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill.
  • Local authorities will be provided with a £300 million discretionary relief fund to treat business rates issues in their locality.
  • These changes will account for a £435million cut in business rates.

 

Our Opinion

Robert Brown, business rates expert in our rating team commented on the budget, and its impact on business rates across England and Wales:

“Having only just held several consultations on the business rates revaluation process I wonder whether a further consultation is really necessary. While I believe there is an unfair commercial advantage to be gained by digital businesses who may not be as seriously affected by increased business rates bills, there is currently not an easy solution on the table to effectively rate online sales. I have previously suggested that an online tax levied at point of sale similar to a delivery charge might provide a one-off solution.

“The announcement of the discount for pubs is great news with 90% of pubs due to benefit from the discount. Based on the brief statement today in the House of Commons one has to wonder however “when is a pub a pub and when is it a restaurant or a night club?” thus, as always the devil will be in the detail!

There was also welcome news for smaller businesses with a cap put in place to restrict their bills increasing by a disproportionate amount if they move outside the small business relief parameters. I hope this is something that the government commit to in the long term.

“Once the £300million allocated to treating hardship cases is spread between several hundred local authorities it will quickly disappear and it will be interesting in exactly how he plans to spread the money between constituencies.

“The take home message from the Chancellors budget was that these changes would result in a £435 million cut in business rates. It is definitely a step in the right direction but in relation to the £25billion collected by business rates it is merely a drop in the ocean.”

View our guide to reducing your business rates here.

Contact Us

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=> [robots] => [access-view] => 1 ) [initialized:protected] => 1 [separator] => . ) ) URL: /news/8-latest-news/1123-business-rates-budget-highlights-2017?layout=default&breadcrumb=noimage

What are business rates?

Business rates are perhaps the most feared and generally the most misunderstood of all taxes on UK property. Our rating surveyors are professionally qualified to fully investigate all possible rates scenarios. We negotiate with both the Valuation Office Agency and local billing authorities to mitigate the impact caused by this significant property outgoing. We also check, authorise and can arrange payments of clients’ rates bills and carry out a full Rates Audit of past liabilities, recovering principal overpayments, interest and tax certificates. We advise a variety of clients ranging from major PLCs with national property portfolios to local authorities, landlords and small individual businesses. We have wide-ranging experience in a number of specialist areas including: The motor trade Prestige city offices High street retail Industrial and warehousing Retail warehouses and retail schemes Major printing works and glassworks Television and film studios Banks Call centres and computer centres Independent schools and colleges Leisure and hotels Licensed properties, in particular free houses and nightclubs Utilities Business rating advice is highly cost effective and more often than not, our professional fees on appeals are fully met from the cash savings achieved. No upfront charges are ever made before advice is given. We can also provide non-contingency fee consultancy advice at fixed rates where the client so requires. Contact Us

Read More....

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Business rates are perhaps the most feared and generally the most misunderstood of all taxes on UK property. Our rating surveyors are professionally qualified to fully investigate all possible rates scenarios.

We negotiate with both the Valuation Office Agency and local billing authorities to mitigate the impact caused by this significant property outgoing. We also check, authorise and can arrange payments of clients’ rates bills and carry out a full Rates Audit of past liabilities, recovering principal overpayments, interest and tax certificates.

We advise a variety of clients ranging from major PLCs with national property portfolios to local authorities, landlords and small individual businesses.

We have wide-ranging experience in a number of specialist areas including:

  • The motor trade
  • Prestige city offices
  • High street retail
  • Industrial and warehousing
  • Retail warehouses and retail schemes
  • Major printing works and glassworks
  • Television and film studios
  • Banks
  • Call centres and computer centres
  • Independent schools and colleges
  • Leisure and hotels
  • Licensed properties, in particular free houses and nightclubs
  • Utilities

Business rating advice is highly cost effective and more often than not, our professional fees on appeals are fully met from the cash savings achieved. No upfront charges are ever made before advice is given. We can also provide non-contingency fee consultancy advice at fixed rates where the client so requires.

Contact Us

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