Business rates appeal system 'isn't working'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Discontent: CCA 'isn't working' according to property expert Colliers (Credit: Getty/John Lamb)
Discontent: CCA 'isn't working' according to property expert Colliers (Credit: Getty/John Lamb)

Related tags Business rates Finance Government Legislation

Latest Government figures indicate the business rates appeal system “isn’t working”, property expert firm Colliers has stated.

According to data from the Government’s Check Challenge Appeal (CCA) business rates appeal system, 845,670 appeals, or ‘checks’, have been registered since the system’s launch in 2017.

Moreover, the figures showed 132,690 (16%) of these were logged between January and March of this year alone.

As a result, 97,610 checks were outstanding by 31 March 2023, up from 10,610 in the previous quarter.

CCA was brought in in April 2017 to stem the demand from the previous system and make appeals easier.


However, Colliers claimed the system was overly “cumbersome and complex” and that businesses remain “bogged down” trying to get a resolution.

Colliers head of business rates John Webber said: “Such high numbers show the system isn’t working and that CCA has not been the answer the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) claimed it would be.

“CCA was brought in to stem the number of appeals made and to process them quickly. Yet appeal figures are now averaging more than 140,000 a year and are as high as ever.

“Appeal figures fell in the early days not because CCA was working, as the VOA claimed, but because many businesses could not face the trauma of trying to negotiate the system and appeal their business rates.

“As the latest figures show, with similar numbers of appeals against the 2017 list as that of 2010, the discontent with business rates bills has not gone away.”

Lack of transparency 

Webber claimed the figures would be even worse if many had not been granted the two-year business rates holiday during the Covid period and the Government had not “outlawed” many appeals registered as an MCC (material change of circumstance) due to the pandemic’s impact on business.

He continued: “The VOA keeps trying to frustrate ratepayers in appealing their rating assessments, but even with the hurdles in place businesses are continuing to challenge their assessments in vast numbers.

“The suggestion that CCA is working has been blown out of the water with these statistics.

“The burden of business rates is too high and the lack of transparency about how their bills are arrived at is the root cause of this shocking number of people appealing their assessments.”


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