Administration of Business Rates in England: Interim Findings
At Autumn Statement 2013, the government announced it would open up a discussion with businesses and local authorities about long-term administrative reform to business rates in England after 2017. This paper summarises the government’s interim findings on the administrative reform of business rates and sets out how the government proposes to respond to businesses’ calls for clearer billing, better sharing of information and a more efficient appeals system. The Institute responded to this interim findings document.
LINK to original consultation paper:
Business rates avoidance
The government is committed to dealing with avoidance in the tax system. At Autumn Statement 2014, the government announced it would open up a discussion to:
- better understand the type and scale of business rates avoidance in England
- find ways to tackle business rates avoidance so that all ratepayers pay the business rates that they should pay
This document built on the work undertaken by the government’s anti-avoidance working group and requested responses from interested parties to further inform the government as to the types and scale of avoidance, as well as ideas around potential solutions. The IRRV responded to this consultation paper.
LINK to original consultation document: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-rates-avoidance-discussion-paper
Council Tax and business rates: powers of entry
Following its review of the powers of entry the DCLG identified two powers operated by the Valuation Office Agency which it proposed to amend. These powers of entry are operated by the Valuation Office Agency’s listing officers and valuation officers as part of their duty to assess domestic and non-domestic properties for banding purposes and rateable values respectively. The IRRV responded to this consultation.
Link to original document: http://www.irrv.net/documents/Consultations/IRRV Response BRates Avoidance 280215.pdf
Scottish NDR Valuation Appeals System
On 27 November 2012, the Scottish Government published its consultation, Supporting Business – Promoting Growth, on reforms to the business rates system. An independent analysis of all responses was published on 4 September 2013, along with the Scottish Government response.
The analysis found that many respondents felt the appeals system was cumbersome, time-consuming and costly for ratepayers, who often have limited understanding of the system and need to pay professional advisors to assist with an appeal.
As a result of these comments, one action was that the Scottish Government would undertake a separate review of the valuation appeal system, beginning in 2014. This paper initiates that process, continuing the wider review of the Scottish business rates system ahead of the 2017 revaluation.
The Scottish Association of the Institute responded to this consultation paper.
Institute raises concerns regarding guidance in HB Circular U6/2014.
Senior Vice-President Jim McCafferty has written to Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud concerning the wording of HB Circular U6/2014. Lord Freud’s reply accepts the point made by Mr McCafferty that It is over- simplistic to assume a link between rent set and the number of bedrooms; and that even in such cases where there is such a link the HB Decision Maker simply does not have the power to compel a change in rent. The Minister undertook to issue guidance to clarify this position.