The Autumn 2021 budget might seem like a lifetime ago, especially in the midst of all the spring business rates developments, there are some key pieces of information that business owners shouldn’t ignore. The budget meeting didn’t bring much new to the table, but a roadmap was introduced that plans to update the current system at the end of this rating period in 2023.
A new “duty to notify” regime puts the onus on the business owner to submit changes that might affect a business rates valuation. You will need to submit information on changes as they happen and this is in addition to filling out your annual information return.
The change has been introduced in order to free up council time, allowing for annual business rates reviews to be conducted within a new, shortened, three-year cycle. In theory, this could help mitigate any nasty rates bills asking for backdated payments. It also means businesses are going to have to put aside time and money to account for the additional administration required.
But what changes classify as a “Duty to notify?” Any structural, land or business use changes will have to be reported. This includes but isn’t limited to:
The building of additional rooms or floors within the building
The creation of additional car-parking spaces or points of access to the premises
Installing lifts, air-conditioning units or toilets
Converting room use, for example: changing a storage facility into office space
For those businesses with additional structures such as mezzanine floors that the VOA don’t know about, this change is going to affect you in particular. Your business rates will rise significantly, and could even double because of the proposed practice change.
In addition to the administrative burden, and the potential rise in business rates for some, the new change will come alongside a three-month deadline to challenge a business rates valuation. So just when you’re required to spend more time and money making sure your business rates valuation is correct, you now have a tighter deadline to challenge them if they aren’t.
We’re committed to keeping up to date with policy changes and are at hand to provide free, no-obligation advice for those to be affected by the new regime, feel free to get in touch if you require further information.