Honesty urged for new business rates

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Honesty urged for new business rates

Related tags: Business rates, Law, Business rates in england and wales

The 2017 rates at your pub are being set soon. Michelle Perrett finds out why your details must be accurate.

Licensees are being advised to be “honest” and “careful” about the information they provide to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for their 2017 valuation.

Fleurets surveyor Ben Peers has warned that it is a statutory obligation for licensees to fill out the forms, which ask for details of their trading data to ensure they are charged the correct rateable value (RV) for 2017.

Trading information

Peers advises licensees that they need to ensure they have the correct documentation, especially if they want to challenge the decision over their rates.

“Keep your trading documents and any historic information from the previous tenants or pubcos”, he said.

“The draft list will be out in October next year. This will let the occupier know what their RV will be. Once the new list comes into play, licensees will then have the freedom to challenge.”

Be honest

Peers said: “Licensees need to be honest with the information that they are providing and they need to be very careful.”

The figures supplied can have a major impact on the RV calculation and Peers advises them to take advice from their accountant.

He warned: “The form splits the income from the wet and dry trade. But some tenants have filled them out without actually splitting out the trade information and that can have an impact.”

Different income streams have different margins and can affect the valuation office calculations, meaning a higher RV, if the licensee fails to fill the form out correctly.

Appeals

There is still an opportunity to challenge business rates calculations if the licensee feels the figures used were incorrect or there has been a change in physical circumstances.

However, Peers warns that the most important issue facing licensees is getting any appeal looked at, whether for 2005 or 2017.

He said: “The VOA has a backlog of around 280,000 appeals for commercial properties.

“I still have appeals that have been put in 12 months ago that are with the VOA.”

Another problem is that the VOA is refocusing its efforts on the current valuation and don’t have the staffing resources available.

“If a licensee wanted to appeal I would suggest doing it sooner rather than later,” he said.

What is RV?

Business rates are calculated on the basis of turnover, with a multiplier set by the Government applied, representing the number of pence in each pound of RV that is payable in rates 

Related topics: Property law

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