The business rates landscape is constantly evolving and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have meant that businesses are having to stay informed of continual changes to the rules and the implications of these changes.
On this page you will find up to date information regarding the next Revaluation as well as the background on the reason for the postponement from 2021 to 2023. In addition we have provided answers to some of the most common questions regarding the Revaluation.
Executive Vice President
Head of Empty Rates & Property Tax
The short answer is due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the commercial property market. Rateable Values were due to be based on rental levels as at April 2019 despite rental values for many properties now being in a period of downward pressure. In particularly hard hit sectors it is not yet known how significant potential falls in rental values may be.
By delaying the Revaluation initially to 2022, then to 2023, and moving the associated valuation date to post Covid-19, ratepayers property valuations will reflect any fundamental changes to the property market caused by the pandemic. This mean that rates bills will be more closely aligned with actual economic circumstances.
No large scale and unexpected changes to business rates liabilities next April
As Rateable Values will not change, there is a stable base for the Government to deploy Covid related rates reliefs more easily.
The next Revaluation will set Rateable Values based on rental levels reflecting the impact of Covid-19.
New Rateable Values will be more closely aligned with the post Covid-19 economy.
Historically the valuation date (termed the antecedent valuation date or AVD for short) has been set 2 years prior to the new values coming into effect. So for example in 2017 the Rateable Values were based on rental levels in 2015.
In May 2020 the Government announced the extension of the current Rating List to 2022. In July a further announcement followed; Revaluation will be extended by one more year, meaning that the next Revaluation will take place on 1st April 2023, allowing for an April 2021 AVD. A post-COVID-19 valuation date ensures that the next Revaluation period reflects the impact that the pandemic has on property values.
It is hoped that that the crisis will be well and truly behind us at that point and we will have a fuller and clearer picture of its implication upon property and market rents. This will coincide with restoring business confidence.
The business rates system has been extensively used to deliver a range of financial assistance to businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.
By delaying the Revaluation to 2023 it makes it easier and faster for the Government to assess any changes they need to make to the current assistance package.
At present there is no confirmation of whether there will be any transitional relief scheme for the 2023 Revaluation however history would indicate that it will be highly likely.
With the valuation date moving to a post Covid-19 date, then some sectors will see large falls in their Rateable Values. In the past the Government’s downwards transitional relief scheme has limited the decrease in bills and phased the reduction in over a number of years.
Altus Group will continue lobbying for the removal of downwards transition as we believe this is fundamentally unfair to ratepayers.
At this point we do not know whether the postponement of the Revaluation will free up resource at the Valuation Office Agency to speed up the rate at which business rates appeals are processed. There is already a large body of outstanding Checks and Challenges in the system as well as an increase in future activity surrounding the impact of Covid-19.
Businesses should still continue to act sooner rather than later in starting an appeal as an increasing delay to settlements could be an issue in the future.
As a significant business expense, it’s worth reviewing your business rates regularly to ensure they are correct and you’re not over-paying.
As the largest business rates adviser in the UK, we have the largest database of rates related property information, putting us in a unique position to secure bigger savings for our clients.
Altus Group is a trusted professional business rates agent, fully regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation.
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