The Chancellors review of Business Rates for small businesses. Fat Chance!
The initial flurry of excitement that the Chancellor was going to introduce some common sense into rates, has steadily fallen apart since his announcement, the informed sages in the industry were sceptical, putting it mildly, that the Inland Revenue Valuation Office could or would affect any changes to the advantage of any small business, unless it was a Charity Shop, extremely unlikely, read on.
The new rating regulations, which have the title ‘Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeal) (England) (Amendment) Regulations SI2015, number 4242’ will have been laid before Parliament and came into force on the 28th March 2015. The sting was that these new regulations now enforce significant limits as to how far you can backdate the effect of Business Rates proposals.
Although the subject is as dry as dust and more than a little boring to most licensees, you may recall that a proposal to amend or alter your rateable value, could be backdated to the 1st April 2010. In other words, if you did achieve a significant reduction in your rateable value and also with the rates payable, you could claim that back for five years, which sometimes meant a very substantial rebate.
The new regulations, published on the 28th March 2015, gave only three days – yes, 3 days! – for the lodgement of new proposals before the 1st April 2015, to take advantage of the five years’ backdating. After the 1st April 2015, you can only backdate to the 1st April 2015. The regulations are, however, slightly more benevolent if it is the Valuation Officer making the proposal to alter the Valuation List, so no surprise, the Draconian three day period of action does not apply to the Valuation Office Agency. Your SCORFA Rating Surveyor / Valuer should have been up to speed on the now imposed regulations!