preparation for the Revaluation - CCA
The new Business Rates appeals system introduced by the Government for the 2017 Revaluation that also involves the Government Gateway Registration, increases the administrative burden on all businesses. These proposals contain three new measures which have been heavily criticised. Simply put, it would appear the Government are seeking to discourage businesses from appealing their rating assessments altogether!
The changes to the appeals system are significant and place the onus firmly on the ratepayer to demonstrate their assessment is excessive. The three stage amendments are:
Check - This will require us to carefully verify all factual information pertaining to the property prior to any challenge against the assessment. Once we have submitted a “check” the Valuation Office (VO) have up to twelve months to consider it and respond.
Challenge - Once the facts have been verified a detailed assessment, valuation, and ‘Statement of Case’ will have to be provided to the VO in order to challenge the Rateable Value. The VO will then issue a decision notice based on this. At this stage the decision notice may agree with the proposed valuation and reduce the assessment accordingly. The matter will then be finalised. However should the VO not agree there is the right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal (VT)
Appeal - An appeal to the Valuation Tribunal can only be lodged after a decision notice has been issued by the VO. If the case proceeds to appeal, the appellants will have the opportunity to present their case to an independent panel and cross examine the VO case. A decision is then issued by the VT 28 days after proceedings.
Far from creating something simple, it would appear that the Government has created a system heavily weighted against the ratepayer.
To compound matters, there is now a prerequisite for ratepayers to register their interest in their property (and their agent) on the Government Gateway before the appeals process can begin.
Full Government Proposals can be found here.