Are you ready for the Business Rates Revaluation in Scotland for 2017?
Changes to Business Rates (or non-domestic rates) were announced by the Scottish Government at the end of last year.
From 1 April 2017 all rateable properties will be subject to revaluation by the Scottish Assessors Association (SAA). You will need to put appropriate financial planning measures in place to accommodate any substantial increase in your rates bill for 2017-18.
If you have yet to receive your rates bill, you can access the SAA website to calculate the rateable value for your business for 2017-2018.
If you have any concerns about the new business rates or feel that the figure produced is incorrect the assessor can check the calculations. If you and the assessor cannot come to an agreement you may lodge an appeal with the SAA through their website once the rates bill has been issued.
You may now also be eligible to apply for business rates relief and this should be discussed with your local Council. As the Council retain all revenue generated from non-domestic rates, your local Council has the authority to offer rate reductions.
Although in some cases the Council automatically apply the relief, there are certain discounts that you would need to apply for. A full list of the discounts can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.
Business rates are based on the property and do not reflect the turnover or profit of a business. Small businesses valued up to £15,000 will be exempt from paying rates and businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £18,000 will receive a 25% discount on their rates bill.
More recent updates:
Following on from the rates revaluation announcement, frustration expressed by business owners has led to Scottish Finance secretary Derek Mackay taking action to put forward some dispensations. These include;
- Placing a cap of 12.5% on any increase in rates for hospitality businesses (including pubs, cafes, hotels and restaurants).
- Following on from the oil industry collapse, placing a cap of 12.5% on office space in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
- Various relief measures for small renewable energy schemes including bills capped at 12.5% for small scale hydro schemes.
Looking ahead, the Barclays Review of Business Rates group has been set up by the Scottish Government to make recommendations on how to enhance the current rates system in Scotland. The group are due to report to the Scottish Government in July this year and their reporting may lead to further changes for rates in 2018-19.
For more information contact Shabnam Hanif.
This article is for general guidance only. We are not, under any circumstances, providing advice or accepting any liability for any party who may seek to rely on the terms of this article.