Rating Way Forward: Business Rates’ Fundamental Review
The conclusions of the Fundamental Review of Business Rates (in England) - a review that began nearly two years ago - were published on Budget Day in October. The Final Report reaffirmed the importance of business rates and its continued central role in the tax system. The tax is therefore retained, but will be reformed. The reforms include: 3-year revaluations, which will involve new obligations and responsibilities for ratepayers and their professional advisers and further changes to the appeal system, the introduction of new reliefs - improvement relief and support for investment in green plant and machinery. If you provide rating advice, then you must watch this module.
Module Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes
How Did We Get Here: What Was Announced in the Budget?
What's happening for ratepayers between now and April 2023
- Discounts for one year for retail, hospitality and leisure occupiers (along with airport and ground operations)
- Freezing of the UBR in England, but as yet, uncertain in the home nations
- Exploration of an online sales tax
- The VOA is to receive additional funding to invest in upgraded digital capacities, demonstrating that business rates remain a core tax system for the future
- Include a rates freeze on building improvements to existing properties – what is an existing building? what improvements? – how long? – how much will this provide ratepayers?
- “Targeted business rate exemptions for eligible plant and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage, and a 100% relief for eligible heat networks, to support the decarbonisation of non-domestic buildings”
A commitment to business rates and their reform (Overview)
- Transition remains as an adjustment for small and medium sized businesses to help spread increases in business rates from April 2023, but at the continued cost to businesses deserving, hoping or needing reductions
An introduction to the reforms
Reforms on the horizon
A Ratepayer View
More Frequent Revaluations for England
Moving to a 3 year revaluation from 2023: How will we get there; and what this means on ratepayers and their advisers? How do we deal with challenges and appeals from 2026?
Information Provision and Compliance
- Information about the property and leases, etc., of the property
- Costs and trade/accounts information
- Who provides this and how?
- Annual confirmations
- Compliance regimes for these provisions
Changes to Appeals (Including MCCs) and Transparency
- MCCs and what are not MCCs?
- Changes to CCA - including abolition of Check
- Improving transparency of the VOA's valuations
- Access to Challenge and access to Transparency and their interaction with compliance for provision of information
- Changes to the appeals process to ensure all appeals are cleared during the life of the rating list
What Does This Mean for Ratepayers and Their Advisors?
What Changes are Needed to Make the System Work?
New Reliefs and Other Reforms
Improvement Relief for England
For certain improvement works, from April 2023
- The aim: to incentive businesses to invest in their premises; and assist businesses to transitions to net zero
- Qualifying types of improvements
- Conditions around occupancy
- Who will be eligible for relief?
- How the relief will be administered?
- How it will interact with other reliefs?
Investment in Green Plant and Machinery for England
- The introduction of exemptions for eligible plant and machinery used in non-domestic onsite renewable energy generation and storage, and a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks that have their own rates bill.
- Changes to the Central Rating List
- Review of discretionary relief
What Does this Mean for Ratepayers and Their Advisors?
Panel Discussion on The Reforms
- Paul Sanderson JP LLB (Hons) FRICS FIRRV, President, International Property Tax Institute
- Nick Cooper, Business Rates Revaluation Team Leader, Local Taxation Division, Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)
- Dominic Curran, Policy Advisor - Property, British Retail Consortium (BRC)
- Liz Ratcliff MRICS, Director - Business Rates Review, Valuation Office Agency
- Richard Williamson, National Head of Rating, GL Hearn Limited
- Simon Green, Head of Business Rates, Gerald Eve
- Tim Johnson BSc (Hons) MRICS, Senior Director, CBRE, Vice President, The Rating Surveyors' Association
- Blake Penfold BSc FRICS MCIArb, Business Rates Consultant, Blake Penfold Consultancy
- Josh Myerson FRICS Dip.Rating IRRV (Hons), Partner and Head of Rating, Montagu Evans LLP; President, The Rating Surveyors' Association
- Alan Colston BSc (Hons) MRICS Dip.Rating, Chief Valuer, Valuation Office Agency