The next business rates revaluation will come into effect on 1st April 2017 and will re-assess all business properties in England, Scotland and Wales based on rental value as at 1st April 2015. It has been a full seven years, instead of the normal five, since business rates were last assessed, increasing the difficulty in predicting individual bills.
The last valuation for business rates in Northern Ireland was completed in 2015, following a 10-year gap, however, the next revaluation will be in 2019 with the intention to revalue every three years after that.
The Rateable Value (RV) for all commercial premises, in England, Scotland and Wales, will be revalued having regard to their rental values as at the 1st April 2015. The amount businesses pay is the rateable value multiplied by the multiplier which gives the total amount due, before any relief or discounts are deducted. An appeal against the rateable value is possible but the multiplier cannot be challenged.
The Valuation Office, which is responsible for setting the rateable values, have already started issuing Forms of Return which request confirmation of lease terms and rents paid, or trading accounts for those properties valued on this basis and you may have already received one.
The responses to the Valuation Office’s ‘Forms of Return’ need to be carefully considered and clubs may wish to employ the services of rating specialists before proceeding.
Draft rateable values and, for most properties, summary valuation should be published online on 30 September 2016 together with other information which should help you understand more about your valuation. This information will give some prior warning to ratepayers and will enable them and their advisors to flag any immediate errors before your local council calculates your business rate bill from 1st April 2017.
On this occasion, the Valuation Office is not sending out printed valuations so clubs should visit the gov.uk website to sign up for email notification of the online publication of the rateable value. Please ensure the valuation is checked when published, as any incorrect details will be binding should a club wish to make an appeal; following changes to that process which take effect on 1st April 2017.
The new appeal process is called ‘check, challenge, appeal’ and has been established to reduce the high numbers of speculative and poorly researched claims that waste the Valuation Office’s time and resources. In England and Wales full details of the new appeals process can be found at www.gov.uk and in Scotland the details are at www.mygov.scot.