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.
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.