219: Business rates consultation proposes three yearly revaluations
A recent consultation on more frequent business rates revaluations suggests that valuations could take place every three years, rather than every five years. The aim is to ensure that revaluations more closely reflect the current economy and to smooth out any sudden increases in liability faced by occupiers.
Proposed changes set out in the consultation include:
- a duty to notify the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) of changes in building occupiers and alterations to the property;
- filing of an online annual return confirming that information held about the property is correct;
- an obligation to provide certain mandatory information on completion and alteration of leases;
- reforming the appeals system so that challenges must be made within three months of a rates bill.
Whilst the changes are welcomed, some critics believe that the VOA is simply passing on the administrative burden to the ratepayer by requiring annual information on changes to properties and leases.
The property industry has also suggested that rates should be revalued annually, as the valuations will still be at least two years out of date even if they take place every three years. Whilst the current consultation does discuss annual revaluations, there is no proposal to introduce this at this stage.
The consultation closes on 24 August 2021 and responses can be submitted here.