How to appeal your business rates

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What to do if you are unhappy with rateable value the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has applied to your property

There is a new business rates appeal process in England from 1 April 2017 known as ‘check, challenge, appeal’. The VOA deals with checks and challenges, while the independent Valuation Tribunal for England handles appeals. An appeal on your 2017 rateable value is not possible, and may not be necessary, until you have completed check and challenge.

The purpose of a ‘check’ is to agree on the correct property information, while a ‘challenge’ is where you can discuss the valuation.

Stage 1 - Check

If you have reason to believe that any of the factual details about your property are incorrect, you (the owner, occupier or authorised agent) need to let the VOA know. You can do this through the VOA’s online ‘check’ service. You can only do this if you have the right to, as the owner, occupier or their authorised agent. For further details about your property please visit the VOA’s online service find and check your business rates valuation

Stage 2 - Challenge

Once the facts are established, you are required to explain why you believe your valuation is wrong and can request a change to your valuation (which may affect your business rates bill); this is called a ‘challenge’. If you do want to make a challenge, you will need to have completed a check first. For further information on the grounds for making a challenge please visit check and challenge your rateable value.

If you don’t agree with the VOA’s decision after you’ve made a challenge, you have the right (in certain circumstances) to appeal their decision. You need to take your appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for an independent review within four months of the challenge decision. For further information on appeals please visit the VOA’s website: how to appeal your rateable value.

If you decide to make an appeal you must continue to pay your business rates while your appeal is outstanding.


Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.

However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website) and the Institute of Revenues rating and Valuation (IRRV - website) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.