Lambert Smith Hampton's (LSH) Business Rates expert urges the Chancellor to announce a change to three-yearly business rate revaluations in his forthcoming Budget.
Business Rate revaluations have been five yearly since 1990 apart from the extension of the 2010 revaluation to 2017. However, LSH believes that reducing the length of time between revaluations will reduce the large fluctuations in rateable values from one revaluation to the next and give business more stability in the business rates they pay.
Paul Easton, National Head of Business Rates at LSH, said: “Increasing the frequency of valuations will rule out the need for repeated transitional arrangement schemes in England, which are unpopular and are likely to be so if introduced for the 2017 revaluation.”
LSH is also calling on the Chancellor to remove businesses with a Rateable Value of less than £15,000 from the Rating List altogether.
Easton said: “Small businesses pay proportionately more business rates compared to turnover than larger businesses. The Government should take out of the system all properties with a rateable value below £15,000 as they make up less than 20% of the total rateable value. This would be relatively straightforward and will reduce the number of business rate appeals made, another aim of Government.”
LSH also believes the Government has missed a huge opportunity to improve the appeal system by failing to address the issue of sharing the information they hold with the ratepayer or their agents in its draft Enterprise Bill.
Easton added: “The business rates appeal process is one of the biggest bugbears of the current system. The ‘check, challenge, appeal’ system, as proposed in the Enterprise Bill, is not expected to be completed by Budget day. In the meantime hundreds of thousands of appeals are still to be resolved and without a radical change in resources that’s not going to change any time soon. These delays are hurting business and need to be addressed.”
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