New Digital 2017 Business Rates Appeal System – Giving more certainty?

24/05/2017

The Government has introduced a new business rates appeal system, in England, to coincide with the recent 2017 Revaluation.

The way the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) value your property and how the Billing Authorities calculate your liability stays the same, yet the big difference is when you believe your Rateable Value is inaccurate and you want to lodge an appeal.

As part of the reformed business rates system, the Department for Communities and Local Government has introduced a new three stage system known as 'Check. Challenge. Appeal.' (CCA) for the 2017 List.

The CCA system is intended to manage the flow of cases through the system in a structured and transparent way, and each step must be fully completed in sequence to submit an Appeal.

Firstly all ratepayers need to register on the Government Gateway through the HMRC Portal so as to gain access to the VOA CCA system

Government Gateway

The Government Gateway process is a new system in the context of business rates appeals.

During the 2017 Rating List, business rates will be managed through the Government Gateway – an online platform which allows access to national and local online government services safely and securely. Ratepayers will be required to set up a secure account and invite their Rating Agent electronically to manage the process.

If you already have a Government Gateway account you can login and follow the steps to claim your property or properties and appoint Scanlans as your Agent.

If you do not already have a Government Gateway account you will need to register your HMRC online account.

Once you have registered you can go on to claim your property or properties and appoint Scanlans as your Agent.


Scanlans Consultant Surveyors Agent Code

·        38237

The Government Gateway Authentication Steps

1.    Register your details

2.    Register the business

3.    Claim your property from the Rating List data

4.    Appoint a professional agent to act on your behalf (using the agent code 38237)

5.   The process would need to be repeated for each property

As the Government Gateway process is a new system in the context of business rates appeals, further changes may be implemented by the Valuation Office Agency.

Check, Challenge, Appeal

Check and challenge will give ratepayers more certainty about the basis of their rateable value by allowing them to initiate a check and confirm or update the relevant details held about their property.  Following a check, if they have reason to believe that their valuation or other element of the rating list entry is wrong, they will be able to submit a challenge, and provide supporting evidence. If you are still not satisfied with the rateable value placed on your property then you can appeal.

Check

You will be asked to check the accuracy of information on which the rateable value is based, confirming that it is complete and correct. The Check stage is used to confirm the specifics of the property and the physical facts that the Valuation Office have relied on in reaching their valuation.  Any revised information would be submitted as a formal declaration. This process requires a detailed knowledge of the premises and its specific characteristic.

Challenge

This can only be progressed when the VOA has accepted the “Check” or a default twelve month period has elapsed. A “Challenge” can only be instigated within 4 months of a completed “Check”. The onus is on the ratepayer or their agent to provide a full and comprehensive statement of case must be put forward. Including:

. The legal grounds on which you are basing your challenge

. The alternative rateable value you believe should be applied to your premises

. Sound reasoning and evidence in support of this alternative rateable value

Only then will the VOA disclose their evidence to support their valuation and consider the “Challenge”. The VOA will issue a decision on the “Challenge” within 18 months.

Appeal

You have four months from the date of the decision notice in which to lodge an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. Proposals have been made to introduce a fee in this respect – £300 for large organisations, and £150 for small businesses.

Although it is anticipated that the majority of cases will be satisfactorily dealt with during the Check and Challenge stages.

If you require any assistance in the registration process or require any advice please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Rating, Colin Whelan, at colin.whelan@scanlans.com or 07881 249812. 


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