Business rates are one of the major items of expenditure in occupying a property. It is therefore important that your rating assessment is accurate, to ensure that you do not pay more than necessary. In preparation for the 2017 Revaluation, the Valuation Office Agency has been sending out forms to ratepayers asking for information about their property and business. Many of these will have now been returned. The draft Rateable Values have now been published, giving occupiers the opportunity to check the detail contained within their assessment is correct, such as floor areas, existence of mezzanines or portable buildings, and providing occupiers the opportunity to notify the Valuation Office Agency of any amendments required.
This provides an excellent opportunity to highlight any factual anomalies without the need to submit an appeal, which has the potential to be time consuming, and it ensures that when the first business rates bills are issued on the 1st April 2017 they are based on the correct information, and that the business rates that you pay are correct. It is important therefore that the rating assessments are checked thoroughly for any inaccuracies. This will need to be completed by the 30th of November 2016.
Although you will be able to correct any factual information you will have to wait until the 1st of April 2017 to challenge the valuation rates applied within the valuation. The new appeal process will also be effective from this date, moving to the new process of ‘check, challenge and appeal’. It is never too early to start to prepare for this process and Brown & Co can look at the draft rating assessment for you and advise as to whether we consider that there are grounds for a challenge in April 2017. Once prepared, the challenge documents can be ready to submit on the 1st of April 2017.
We are happy to assist with each stage of the process and if you would like to discuss your draft rating assessment in more detail please do not hesitate to contact Brown & Co.