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Andrew Kilpatrick

Thinking of lodging a business rates appeal? Do it now!

Business owners who are thinking of lodging an appeal against the level of business rates they are charged are being urged to act soon, before a new piece of legislation takes effect.

Commercial property expert Andrew Kilpatrick, of Kilpatrick & Co, says an overlooked change to the rating legislation means business owners will miss out if they lodge their appeal after March 31 this year.

“Hidden away in the small print of the Autumn Statement was a new and unexpected change to the current rating legislation and rates appeals system,” explains Andrew.

“Currently, a successful appeal allows a ratepayer to claim a rate refund back to the start of the rating list (April 1 2010) or the event triggering the rateable value reduction.

“The proposed change is that only rating appeals made before 31 March 2015 will be able to claim rate refunds back to April 2010. From 1 April this year, any new appeals will only be able to generate rates savings for up to two years from that date to 31 March 2017.

“All ratepayers need to urgently check that appeals have been made on any properties where a rate refund might be achievable and instruct a reputable rating surveyor to make a valid appeal before 31 March.”

The government recently confirmed that 1 April 2015 is to be the valuation date for the 2017 rating revaluation. Any rent reviews, lease renewals, or lettings around this date will have extra significance as the outcome could effect that property’s rates liabilities up to 2022.