Details of the new system for checking and challenging business rates bills have been announced.
The online system will allow individuals to track the progress of their check or challenge.
The ‘check, challenge, appeal’ process will assist in reducing speculative appeals and ensure that business rates disputes are settled efficiently.
Currently over 955,000 appeals have been submitted against rating valuations, leading to long queues, creating costs and uncertainty for small and local businesses.
Less than 2% of business rates appeals have proceeded to a tribunal hearing.
The streamlined process is part of the government’s target of self-sufficiency of councils and retention of 100% of local taxes by 2020.
Businesses will now go through 3 stages:
- Check – ensuring that all information is up to date and accurate with errors quickly corrected
- Challenge – businesses to challenge rates, allowing them to set out their grounds and supportive evidence
- Appeal – the opportunity to appeal to an independent valuation tribunal.
A new £300 fee will be charged when lodging an appeal. Penalties of up to £500 will also be issued to those sending false information.
Secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, said:
“The vast majority of disputes will now be settled long before lengthy litigation and will mean businesses and councils can get on with planning budgets, confident they are getting a fair deal.”