Occupiers of commercial premises have until 31 March 2015 to submit an appeal against their business rates or potentially risk losing out on five years’ worth of savings, a Birmingham rating expert has warned.
In the 2014 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced changes to the rules governing alterations to business rates, in which any appeal submitted after 1 April 2015 will not be backdated to the period 2010 to 2015.
The result of this change means that if a ratepayer does not appeal before
31 March 2015 and an appeal is served after 1 April 2015 and their Rateable Value is reduced following the appeal, they will lose all refunds and savings up to 31 March 2015.
For example, a property with a Rateable Value of £200,000, which is then reduced to £160,000, would result in a saving of £126,084 up to 31 March 2017 if the appeal is lodged on time.
If the appeal is submitted after the 31 March deadline the savings are reduced to £39,880, resulting in potential lost savings of £86,204.
Adam Rock, partner and head of rating at Bruton Knowles in Birmingham, said: “This proposal was not widely anticipated and for those ratepayers who, following the Government’s postponement of the 2015 revaluation until 2017, have been more relaxed about reviewing the Rateable Value of their properties, there is now an urgency to take action.
“Business rates are the third biggest outgoing for most organisations, after rent and staffing costs, which is why we are urging occupiers to take advantage of any potential savings by submitting their appeals ahead of the 31 March.
“With the Government having already hit businesses in the pocket with the postponement of the 2015 rating revaluation to 2017, missing the opportunity to get something back would just add insult to injury.”