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Business Rates changes – how you may be affected

Business Rates changes – how you may be affected
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Business Rates changes – how you may be affected
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

1 April 2017 will not only see the introduction of the next Revaluation, but also a number of other changes to the business rates system. It is important you are aware of these in order to ensure what you pay in business rates is kept to a minimum. Chris Morrow of Matthews & Goodman property advisers explains what the changes are, and what they mean for your business.

2017 Revaluation – what does this mean?

There are approximately 1.8 million separate rating assessments in England and the Valuation Office has been tasked with revaluing all of them in order to redistribute the burden of the tax, according to shifts in rental value. The aim of a revaluation is therefore not to increase overall revenue, which is to remain the same at approximately £24 billion per annum.

The Valuation Officer’s new assessments will reflect his opinion of rental value as at 1 April 2015 (currently assessments are based on rental value at 1 April 2008) under a statutory basis of assessment. You may have recently been asked to fill out a ‘form of return’, requesting rental details for your property. These are standard forms which are not particularly suited to some circumstances, such as at CapitalSpace centres where monthly licence fees are usually inclusive of an element of services.

The new Rating List will be available to view in draft form as of 1 October 2016. We recommend you register your details with the Valuation Officer in order to access your assessment. You can do this here.

Will this result in an increase or reduction in the amount I pay?

As a very general guide, we would expect most assessments across the CapitalSpace centres to increase upon revaluation. The increase to the amount you pay will be determined by the (as yet unconfirmed) Uniform Business Rate Multiplier and arrangements for transitional relief; we do not expect these elements to be announced until early next year.

Extension of Small Business Rate Relief

Providing you qualify as a ‘small business’ as of 1 April 2017, you will be eligible for 100% relief on the main premises you occupy if the 2017 Rateable Value does not exceed £12,000. However, if the assessment is below RV £15,000 you should also receive some relief, on a sliding scale.

Up to the expiry of the current List, qualifying small businesses can receive 100% relief up to Rateable Value £6,000, tapering to zero at RV £12,000.

Change to the Appeal Process

Currently the information required in order to lodge a valid appeal against an assessment is relatively minimal, however as of 1 April 2017 the government will almost certainly be introducing a new process known as ‘Check, Proposal, Appeal’ (CPA).  This will impose a fresh requirement for the ratepayer or their agent to confirm factual details via a ‘Check’ stage prior to lodging a formal ‘Proposal’.

The exact arrangements have still to be confirmed, but based on what we have seen to date, the Proposal stage can only be reached upon completion of the Check stage, which could last up to 12 months. There will then be a limited time (probably 4 months) within which to lodge a formal Proposal. This is likely to require more detailed evidence up front to justify the proposed alteration to the Rating List. The Valuation Officer will then have a period of around 18 months to consider and discuss, before issuing a ‘Notice of Decision’.

Currently we understand the proposer may make an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for England against the Notice of Decision within 4 months of the notice, or if no Decision Notice has been issued, within the 18 months. This will likely incur a small fee.

As a consequence, it is vital ratepayers are properly advised before attempting to navigate the new appeal system.

About Matthews & Goodman

We are a national firm of commercial property advisers focused on collaborative, creative and successful solutions to our clients’ property issues.

Our Business Rates experts save our clients millions of pounds each year. We can help with any queries you have about the 2017 Revaluation, business rates relief or appeals.

Find out more at

To find out about developments in the business world,

look out for information emails from your centre management team