In November 2017 the Government announced a change to legislation after lobbying, returning business rates law to the position which existed before the Supreme Court’s unexpected ruling in the “Mazars” case in 2015.
Ratepayers affected by this legislative change could potentially achieve a business rates refund dating back to 2010. This change does not affect all ratepayers and businesses need to act quickly to establish whether this opportunity applies to them and the savings could be generated from correcting the historic Rateable Values.
There is a window of opportunity within which we can reconsider, and retrospectively make changes to, certain business rates assessments on relevant affected properties.
Relevant circumstances include those properties split following the Mazars ruling, and also individual assessments where a merger would create a reduced overall liability.
The calculation of business rate liabilities is complex. We offer a free, without obligation, review to assess the opportunity the new legislation offers you.
A Supreme Court decision in July 2015 ruled that where a company occupied two or more office floors separated by a communal staircase or common area, the Rating List should show the occupation as separate entries.
Although the ruling concerned offices, the principle affects many other property types including adjacent industrial buildings. In fact, any occupation made up of more than one unit or building is potentially impacted.
The Valuation Officer’s changes to assessments as a result of this ruling often resulted in higher individual rateable values and consequently increased business rates liabilities.
The Supreme Court ruling was controversial, reversing decades of logical and well established rating practice. In addition to higher basic rateable values, many businesses were deprived of common allowances, reliefs and exemptions adding considerably to their overall business rates liability.
Branded the “Staircase Tax”, the Mazars decision has been universally unpopular. After months of lobbying by business groups and property professionals government finally overturned this decision in November 2017.