I’m not going to pretend that business rates is the most riveting of subjects, but it happens to be one that I’m quite passionate about – which is just as well as it’s a pretty complex area, and one which can cause many clients to get irate!
The good news is that we can help – especially at this time of year.
Easter isn’t just the time of year to enjoy time with the family whilst ingesting more chocolate than is humanly possible. It’s also the time of year businesses are issued with their new rate demands.
You may find that your local council (or ‘charging authority’) has already sent yours out, and with it, a reminder to get registered online with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website.
Why, you might ask? Well by registering online with the VOA now, you can ensure that you are emailed your new rateable value (RV) for 2017 revaluation when it’s published this autumn.
It’s vitally important that you do this as nobody else can do it on your behalf and because this brand new rateable value will be used by the charging authority to calculate your business rates from 1 April 2017 as part of the new revaluation process.
Now I’ve experienced five revaluations in my career and, whilst the VOA is getting much better at getting your rateable value right first time, this revaluation will be different.
The process to appeal your rates is going to get a whole lot tougher and more complicated. It’s a deliberate tactic by the VOA and the government to try and stop speculative appeals by the rate payer or their agent. So don’t be bamboozled by the process, let us check your new RV as soon as possible as there are still plenty of opportunities where the VO will get it wrong, and you will need to know if they have.
Once you receive your RV for next year, send the new RV on to us and we can immediately check if it should be appealed under the aptly named process, ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’.
But it’s not just about checking whether your new RV is correct – there’s more to it than that. We can also establish right now if you should also be getting other reliefs, exemptions and allowances as highlighted by Mr Osborn in the March Budget.
As your rate demand sits on your desk, and with 2017 revaluation hot on our heels, take action now – firstly to register online and secondly, to send us your 2016/17 rate demand to be checked by our team of experts. This will help to make sure everything is present and correct, ready for 2017 revaluation.
And speaking of 2017 revaluation, in our next blog, we’ll be looking at the key next steps in the run up to this important date, so don’t miss it!
In the meantime, for more information about how our team of expert rating specialists can help advise you on your all aspects of your business rates, don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can take away the pain, and help ensure you aren’t paying over the odds.