ACS: Rates Changes Welcome But Should Not Place More Burdens on Businesses

A new consultation has been launched by HM Treasury, proposing a framework for moving towards three-yearly revaluations of business rates from five-yearly and simplifying the appeals system.

The consultation proposes a number of new requirements on retailers, including:

  • A duty to notify the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) about property changes that affect business rates liabilities – for example, structural alterations, extensions or conversions. This would be done as changes are completed and via an Annual Confirmation Return
  • The mandatory provision of rental and lease information – for example rent amounts and what it includes, agreed incentives, responsibilities and rent reviews. To be provided after events where these might change (e.g. signing a new lease)

The launch of this consultation is part of the government’s fundamental review of the business rates system, the initial call for evidence was launched in July 2020 and the interim report was published in March 2021.

In response to the consultation on a fundamental review of the business rates system, ACS called for a move to three-yearly revaluations from 2023 to strike a balance between certainty for business and VOA resource.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We support the move to more frequent revaluations and streamlining the complex business rates appeals system. However, the VOA needs to be properly resourced to accurately assess property taxes rather than the burden of providing information falling on businesses who do not have the systems and administrative scale to do this.

“While we welcome the opportunity to engage further with the Treasury on these proposals, we do not believe they represent fundamental reform to the system by themselves. The Chancellor should take this opportunity to reimagine the system so it incentivises business investment.”

The outcome of this consultation, and the wider business rates review, is expected in the Autumn.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Wed, 30/06/2021 - 12:15