The recent announcement of an extension of the ‘hospitality’ rates relief in Scotland until 31st March 2022 is welcome news to the sector.
In conjunction with Gerald Eve LLP, SLTA’s rating advisors in Scotland, further news on relevant and current business rates is as follows:
- Whilst the rates relief will benefit the vast majority of occupiers of hotels, public houses and other hospitality and leisure properties, landlords of some properties may have been required to continue to pay rates, particularly in the case of unoccupied/unlet premises. Further advice on the rates relief – and other potential forms of relief – is to be encouraged.
- The indications are that the extended rates relief will be application based, therefore additional detail is awaited and further advice is recommended.
We will circulate details once ScotGov and/or Billing Authorities have confirmed the application process.
- Many ratepayers had submitted “Material Change of Circumstance” (MCC) appeals against their rateable values to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation requires any MCC appeals must be submitted by 31st March 2021 or any scope for a retrospective adjustment will almost certainly be lost. We urge members to consult with their advisors on this matter or contact Gerald Eve for some free(*) preliminary advice. If Gerald Eve is your (or your landlord’s) current rating advisor your position is protected already.
- The next general revaluation of all commercial premises in Scotland has
been postponed until April 2023. The outcome of any MCC appeals may therefore offer opportunity of reduced rates payments for the final year of the Revaluation period, 2022/23, when the hospitality relief is due to be removed.
- In preparation of the 2023 Revaluation the Scottish Assessors will soon circulate new Assessors Information Notices (AINs), which replace the previous questionnaires and come with potentially very punitive penalties for delays and failure to respond. The intention is there will be scope for advance, and ongoing, submission of information by ratepayers online. Unique ‘login’ details are to be provided to each owner and occupier. Through SLTA’s partnership with Gerald Eve initial complimentary(*) consultation is available to any members who wish guidance, including assistance with submission of details required for the legal AINs.
- Grants. Be aware of deadlines and requirements for closure grants etc. Applications for the closure grants should be submitted no later than 31st March 2021.
- For further information on the above please contact Gerald Eve LLP via the dedicated SLTA email address SLTAbusinessrates@geraldeve.com
(* Strictly in conjunction with SLTA Gerald Eve will offer a free initial, verbal consultation and assist with submitting MCC appeals by 31st March 2021 at no initial cost. Assistance to complete or review AINs, in part or full, may be subject to agreement on associated matters in relation to each individual case, including agreed terms of engagement. Please continue to seek advice from any existing rating consultants who are currently retained.)