February 15, 2023 Business rateable values set to change
The rateable value assigned to your business premises is about to change. That’s because the Valuation Office Agency has just completed a periodic review into the rateable values of all business premises across England and Wales with the new values applying for the business rates cycle which starts on 1 April 2023.
As part of that review, over the last couple of years the Valuation Office Agency has been sending out requests for businesses to input rent, lease and other details on to an online platform. The information requested seems straightforward but in order to complete the return accurately the compiler will need to have a copy of the current lease to hand as well as knowledge of the history of the business as it relates to those premises including details of any alterations made and the costs relating to those alterations. It’s not a return therefore that should be undertaken lightly.
Whether or not a business has been asked to complete one of these returns, it may still be worth checking the current and expected future rateable value of the premises. That’s because the Valuation Office Agency has calculated the new values based on what they consider to be the open market rental value of the property as at 1 April 2021 and there is a chance that incorrect information held might adversely affect the calculations. For example, we are aware of a case in which the entirety of the rent for the premises seems to have been allocated not only to the whole premises but also to one of the offices within the building leading to a potential more than doubling of business rates.
Luckily it is easy to carry out an initial check on current and projected future rateable valuations by logging on to www.gov.co.uk/find-business-rates and then inputting your postcode. This is an open information portal so you can not only check on the valuation applied to your own premises but compare that valuation to others nearby. Delving down into the information provides a snapshot of individual areas within your premises and the rateable value applied to them.
It should be stressed that the rateable value shown for the period starting 1 April 2023 is provisional and may change depending on any information provided in the ‘request for rent, lease, or ownership details’ returns. If the new values look out of step with previous valuations then we are advised that challenging the rates is a multi-step process. Businesses in England will firstly have to set up a business rates valuation account to check the base information on which the Valuation Office Agency has made its determination. This is done via the businesses’ existing Government Gateway Account.
If a business wishes to appeal the calculation for the period starting 1 April 2023, this appeal can only take place after the 1 April. Businesses might decide to appoint a specialist such as a chartered surveyor to manage their appeal for them. If any of our existing clients have questions, please speak with your existing Elemental contact. It is worth noting that the query process for businesses in Wales is slightly different.