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Business rates - are you paying too much?

Business rates - are you paying too much?

As of 1st April 2017, the mechanism for appealing against business rates has changed, allowing more petitions and challenges to be made. 

The process of appealing your rateable value is broken down into two stages. The first is to submit a ‘Check’ to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which then considers any evidence put forward, together with the details of the business property.  Even if all of the information the agency holds is correct, a check must still be submitted in order to move to the next stage.

If the re-banding is solely based on incorrect information held – in instances where the wrong floor area is listed for example – the appeal can be settled at this stage.

If you do not agree with the outcome of the check or are relying on other grounds of appeal, the next step is known as ‘Challenge’.

There are various grounds on which to challenge the value, including situations when the valuation was wrong when the rating list was created, when there’s been a change to the surroundings that affect the value and when a change made by the VOA is wrong or hasn’t been made.

Lydia Cox from Stags Professional Services states, “This is an excellent opportunity to look at reducing your rates bill, particularly when looking at farm diversification projects or holiday complexes.” Lydia continues, “With this type of business property, it is often difficult to assess a rateable value, given the many variable factors in the equation when compared to a high-street property. As such, expert advice is essential to achieving the best result.”

For further information, please contact Stags Professional Services on 01392 439046 to be put through to your local professional.