The Spring budget casts a dark shadow over many small businesses. The news that business rates were set to increase was met with scorn up and down the country. And quite rightly so, with some businesses facing hikes of up to 600%. The majority of those hit were family-run shops, pubs and restaurants. Anyone familiar with Business 101 knows that keeping a watchful eye on the overheads is essential to success. Hence why the changes left some business owners wondering if their businesses would still be viable after the changes.
After a furious debate in parliament, the government announced a U-turn of sorts in the form of a £435m fund to help ease the pressure on those worst hit. Unfortunately, the solution was again marred by controversy as the Department for Communities and Local Government announced in February that the funding would require government approval with regards to its distribution. All signs pointed to a delay in relief until after the snap election. This was later denied by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, who confirmed: “It’s going ahead, exactly as planned. Councils are free to start using the scheme and helping local businesses.”
How To Lodge A Business Rates Appeal
Despite this tax relief fund, some business owners may still feel that their rateable value is too high or unfair. There are a number of circumstances under which you can lodge a business rates appeal, but the process is often punctuated by red tape and strict timescales that make appealing on your own time-consuming and costly. If you think your business property might be unfairly rated, you can lodge a business rates appeal.
Popular Reasons for Business Rates Appeal
If you can prove that your business has faced a material change of circumstances (MCC), you may be eligible for a reduction on your rates and a refund on previously overpaid tax. This can include circumstances such as:
â—Disruption to your business due to road works or redevelopment.
â—A change to the structure of the property, including demolition or refurbishment.
â—Changes in the use of the structure of a neighbouring property.
â—Change of property use.
â—Change of owner.
â—Local developments that impact your business (out of town shopping centres, for example).
â—Closure of nearby businesses or facilities.
First Steps For a Business Rates Appeal
The first step you should take is to get in touch with the rating team at Roger Hannah & Co to discuss your circumstances. There are a number of reliefs and exemptions available and we could help to reduce or remove your tax liability altogether. The majority of our cases are settled by negotiating with the Valuation Office, however, some business rates appeals may be sent to a Valuation Tribunal for a final decision.