Billing authorities are now enforcing strict payment deadlines with business rates. Whereby, if payment is late in consecutive months or behind by more than a month they will demand a full year’s rates PLUS a 10% surcharge, usually via a third party agent
We are urging members to be aware as we are seeing very little leeway with this.
• A recent case narrowly avoided a 10% surcharge for a business owner whose annual bill was close to £100 million; and there is no apparent latitude for ratepayers with strong track records.
Many ratepayers in hospitality cancelled direct debits during covid and could be unwittingly caught with this if not already re-set by now.
Changes to the Non-domestic rates system in Scotland
To summarise the Scottish Government’s response to the consultation relating to the reform of non-domestic rates in Scotland, the timeline below outlines the new proposal system that will come into force.
Key points to note from the Scottish Government’s response:
- The objective of the proposal requirements is to limit the number of appeals the assessor receives, therefore the new proposal document is as the draft regulations detailed. A proposal will require significant upfront work before any meaningful discussions and negotiations can be had with theassessor.
- Proposals must be submitted with clear reason with full supporting grounds, valuation and a statement relating to how the evidence supports the proposed alternative value.
- There is a strict four month window to submit revaluation proposals from 1st April to 31st July 2023.
- All new interest proposals and material change of circumstance proposal must be lodged within four months of a notice being received or date of a material change of circumstance.
- Assessor maintains the rights to reject a proposal if incomplete but will notify the proposer of the reasons and how to make it valid which must be done within 28 days.
- The Scottish Government has taken on board our recommendation that a 14 day period to appeal a rejected proposal is insufficient. This has been extended to 28 days.