Like all overheads, business rates need constant monitoring. Fletcher King undertakes a wide range of services for both owners and occupiers of commercial property throughout the UK with the aim of minimizing rate liability.
Advice is given on the effects of business rate revaluations and their impact on clients’ future liabilities taking into account the increasing complexity of the calculations including transitional phasing and local supplements.
As rating advisers, our overall aim is to mitigate our clients’ rate liability within the permitted parameters of the Rating Regulations and to ensure that no opportunity is missed to take advantage of the rapidly changing legislative landscape.
Whilst rating revaluations are undertaken by the Government on a quinquennial basis and the current 2010 Rating List came into effect on 1 April 2010, the Government have deferred the next rating list until 1 April 2017 and therefore ratepayers need to be aware of the consequence of this decision in terms of their ongoing rate liability.
Submission of Appeals
In England and Wales the Valuation Office Agency is responsible for establishing and maintaining the commercial Rating List.
Rate payments are calculated by multiplying the Rateable Value (RV) appearing in the Rating List by the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) which is set annually by Parliament. Whilst there are no rights of appeal against the UBR, the RV, which is an assessment of rental value, may be challenged once a Rating List has come into force or if there is a material change of circumstances affecting the rental value. Appeals are carried out for commercial owners and occupiers from all sectors of the market including retail, office and industrial as well as a number of specialist sectors.
Clients are represented at the Valuation Tribunal or on appeal, before the Lands Tribunal, if a satisfactory negotiated settlement cannot be achieved.
Rating legislation has become increasingly complex. The Department undertakes comprehensive reviews of rate payments, checking accuracy of rate demands, negotiating refunds and liaising with the Local Charging Authority where necessary. Advice is given on available reliefs and potential exemptions that may be available on an ongoing basis.