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Little time left for business rates appeals

05 March 2010
Issue: 4247 / Categories: News
Small firms have until 31 March to contest 2005 valuation

Small firms have less than a month to contest their business rates over the past five years. Owners who believe they have been charged too much since the last revaluation in 2005 have until 31 March to appeal.

The Forum of Private Business believes around 160,000 small firms have already won backdated reductions in their rates since 1 April 2005, when the current rateable period began. Many more businesses may be eligible for a reduction.

There are two main grounds on which claimants can appeal against their rateable value.

  1. They can show that they are paying more than neighbouring properties. The Valuation Office Agency’s website allows business owners to find out what nearby premises pay and whether or not they have appealed against the amount. 
  2. They can prove that there has been a ‘material change’ in their circumstances since 2005. This means something in the business’s immediate surroundings has altered and had a detrimental effect on trade. Examples include streets being closed off due to roadworks, a high number of empty neighbouring shops, and a change in the size or use of the claimant’s premises.

Business owners can also take the opportunity to appeal against their forthcoming business rates, which will come into effect in April after rateable values were controversially re-assessed just before the credit crunch sent rents and property values tumbling.

Issue: 4247 / Categories: News
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