LATEST TWEETS

Great feature in Business Cornwall Magazine on @rights_net, our social media, internet and media law service… https://t.co/2g8xlBa0Nw
Tomorrow is the day to come and meet some of the team @CornwallBizShow including Laura Baglow, Head of NetRights, o… https://t.co/qM78xnzWPW
Happy International Women’s Day! Parnall history trivia for you: Parnall & Sons was a keen employer of women. On 3… https://t.co/vpjepce8X1
NetRights is launched by leading law firm, Parnalls Solicitors to offer quick and effective protection for your bra… https://t.co/4dD4Q6oHkZ

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 1)

If you are one of a growing number of businesses facing financial crisis following the business rates revaluation earlier this year, options for reducing your outgoings to keep the business afloat are likely to be high on your list of priorities.  You may also have thought about whether you can challenge your assessment or take advantage of available exemptions or reliefs.

 

In the first of a two-part series of articles on this subject, Mark Parnall director with Parnalls in Launceston, looks at the circumstances in which a challenge may be possible.

 

The second article will look at available exemptions and reliefs, options for reducing your overheads and the process you will need to go through if you decide your business is no longer financially viable.

 

Challenging an assessment

If you think that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has got the rateable value of your property wrong, then you can query this by raising the matter with them and asking for a review.  To do this, you will need to go through a structured process known as ‘check, challenge, appeal’.

Check

The check part of the process requires you to identify the property being queried and examine a series of facts that the VOA will have relied upon in assessing rateable value.  This checking process needs to be completed within 12 months from the date on which a check was first initiated. If any of the facts relied on by the VOA are found to be inaccurate, a request for reassessment can be made.

 

 

Challenge

If the facts are correct, but the rateable value is still believed to be wrong, a formal challenge can be brought but this must be done within four months of the checking process being completed.

A challenge will require you to:

  • confirm the grounds on which you say the assessment is wrong;
  • suggest an alternative rateable value or rating list entry, as appropriate; and
  • provide evidence to support the alternative suggestion(s) made.

 

It is important to frame your challenge appropriately and obtain comprehensive and compelling evidence at this stage as, save for in limited circumstances, the grounds for challenge and evidence submitted in support will not be allowed to be amended or extended upon during the challenge process. In addition, if an appeal against the VOA’s ultimate decision is required it is only the grounds for challenge and evidence provided in support to the VOA that will be considered by the appeal tribunal.  For this reason, Mark Parnall suggests that before you embark on a challenge, you seek advice and guidance from your solicitor and a ratings surveyor about what is needed to present your case in the best possible light.

Advice is also suggested at this stage to ensure that everything is presented correctly, and is capable of full substantiation, given that there are penalties for knowingly, recklessly or carelessly providing evidence which is ultimately shown to be false.

A response to your challenge will be provided and negotiations can then commence to try to resolve the matter.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the VOA will issue a reasoned decision which you are free to either accept or reject. This should be done within 18 months of the challenge being made.

Appeal

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the challenge, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service.  This must be done within four months of the VOA decision being made or after 18 months have expired from the date on which the challenge was initiated. Again, if an appeal looks likely it is important that you seek legal advice to protect your position and ensure all relevant evidence is presented on your behalf, including any new evidence which may have come to light since your challenge to the VOA was determined.

A fee of between £150 to £300 will be payable at the appeals stage, but will be reduced by a third if the matter can be dealt with without the need for an in-person hearing and will be fully refunded in the event your appeal is successful.

For further advice on challenging a rateable value assessment, or for any other business property related dispute, please contact Mark Parnall on 01566 772375 or email parnallm@www.parnalls.com

Please note that this article details the appeals procedure in England only.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

MORE NEWS

Have you had an accident involving a horse?

Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords

Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation

New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year 

Tax Planning for your inheritance

Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable

Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider

Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit

Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News

Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation

Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea

Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?

Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?

HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments

Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor

The potential implications of Brexit on employment law

Appointing a guardian for your children

Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018

New Agriculture Bill published

Will Brexit affect my pension?

Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up

Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams

Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager

How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die

How overage agreements can boost profits from your land

Top tips for first-time buyers

How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?

Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams

Brexit ­– an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation

Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK

Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell

Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money

Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home

Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member

Considerations when buying a heritage property

Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.

Selling your land through a conditional contract

Why you should always use a solicitor to prepare your will

Putting your legal affairs in order

How to extend a lease on a flat or buy a share of the freehold

Delayed Health Checks

New Marketing Team at Parnalls Solicitors Ltd

Social media: snooping in the recruitment process

A landlord's guide to tenant alterations

Equity release, your questions answered

Short term lettings: avoiding the pitfalls

How to apply for a grant of probate

Are you entitled to a fee refund for your Lasting Power of Attorney?

What to do when someone dies

Business disputes: can they ever be avoided?

Accident at work: what to do and when if you have been injured

Director appointment

What type of will do I need?

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 2)

Conveyancing quotes: what you need to know

New appointment in Litigation

Property boundaries and rights of access: what are they and why do they matter?

Mental Health - we can get you the help you need

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 1)

Leaving a gift to charity in your will

Parnalls helps two leading Devon organic meat companies to become one

Katherine Flashman Kitson is appointed Governor of St Joseph's School, Launceston

Financing your home purchase (Part 2)

New rules on debt recovery may delay payment of consumer debts

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 2)

Our Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney for Your Business Interests

Financing your home purchase (Part 1)

Careless replies to pre-contract commercial property enquiries could land you in trouble

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 1)

Property referrals and recommendations - what to consider

World Alzheimer’s Day: Three-step plan to get your legal affairs in order

Legal considerations when setting up a business (Part 2)

How to avoid falling victim to property fraud

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease? Part 3

Top 10 reasons to use a solicitor to make your lasting power of attorney

What legal considerations do I need to think about when setting up a business? (Part 1)

Why you need to update your will as soon as you decide to separate or divorce

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?  Part 2

The Bank of Mum and Dad: top tips when lending money to your children  

DON’T ACCEPT 50/50 ON AN ACCIDENT IN A COUNTRY LANE

The importance of insurance when life trips you up

The role of a court appointed deputy

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?

Ten common debt recovery mistakes

How do I know if my relative has the mental capacity to make a will?

Motorcycle accidents - what to consider when claiming compensation

Top tips for pushing your house purchase through as quickly as possible

How does the new inheritance tax perk work?

The ultimate personal injury and accident claim checklist

Jargon-busting guide to Lasting Power of Attorney

10 reasons to appoint a Personal Injury solicitor

What happens when mum or dad are ill and can’t make decisions?

How firms can take advantage of the rise of alternative finance

Should Stamp Duty be abolished?

Teenager paralysed after falling off a horse awarded £3 million in compensation

RBS to pay investors £800 million

Not happy with your accident claim lawyers?

Parnalls expands its litigation team

Hard work pays off for our Trainee Legal Executive.

Katherine Scott Flashman Kitson celebrates 20 years

How will the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) affect you?

Exciting new business hub unveiled in North Cornwall

Be careful what you post on Facebook

Parnalls rolls out the support at Wadebridge Wheels

New trainee solicitor appointed

Mark Parnall comments on Brexit in The Law Society Gazette