News

Property rates mitigation – a potential buried treasure trove

February 21, 2017

When anyone hears the term audit, it tends to ring alarm bells.

But when it comes to historic payments of property taxes, carrying out a forensic audit of what your local authority has charged you in the past, could have a positive outcome financially.

Whilst the current focus is understandably on the 2017 Revaluation, and the complex system changes that are taking place in the near future, it’s important not to overlook the recovery options that might exist for you in the past.

The process of unearthing this buried treasure should be an important part of your rates mitigation strategy.

Have you overpaid?

So complex is the world of property tax, that the likelihood of you having been overcharged by your council in the past, is quite high.

The only way to know whether or not this is the case, is to carry out an in-depth forensic audit to investigate and unearth any overpayments charged by your local authority.

As with everything though, it’s about having the time and resource to invest in an auditing process, which is where our auditing and surveying experts come in.

Taking away the auditing pain

Working together with a team of Chartered Surveyors, our forensic auditors work with you to focus on identifying any historic account anomalies or tax reliefs that have not been applied, exploring every technical angle possible to help recover money back from your charging authority.

This can result from everything from historic overpayments and the way in which tax reliefs have been applied, to unclaimed tax credits or even simple billing errors.

By commissioning a stand-alone forensic audit, you’ll benefit from an efficient investigative process that will assess your property portfolios quickly, but with an expert eye.

Don’t forget this is historic, so it won’t clash with any existing rates appeals, and it won’t require any additional input from you, allowing you to leave the hard work to us.

How it works

Typically, this will start with an audit which will allow us to flag up any anomalies that could lead to a refund relating to existing or former properties.

Once we’ve achieved a successful outcome for you, and the savings have been received, only then do we bill for the work – based on an agreed percentage of the savings recovered from your audit.

And the savings can prove to be significant, as was the case for one client whose savings dated back as far as the 1990s.

Act now

Whilst there is no time limit on historic overpayments, there are some ‘blocking dates’ which exclude some historic claims, so it’s worth seeking professional advice to ensure that you are able to maximise any money you are owed.

And it’s not just about unearthing historic savings, it’s just as important to have a wider rates mitigation strategy in place, as this will help to ensure that your business benefits from all property rate savings available to you.

For more information about our forensic auditing service, and the potential buried treasure it can unearth, don’t hesitate to get in touch.