Colleagues in the Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC UK) have persuaded the Valuation Office to agree a major reduction in self-catering business rate valuations in both England and Wales. The ability to seek a revaluation came in to force yesterday and any reduction subsequently granted will be backdated to April 2017 when the current rates were set. There is therefore both a potential future reduction in valuation and rates paid and a refund on past over-payments on offer.
The reduction on average will be 33.3% of the current rate but in reality, it will vary depending on how accurate the original 2017 valuation was. Where this reduction pushes the rateable value below £15k, businesses will be able to apply for tapered relief and below £12k for the 100% small business relief, meaning further saving for some and for others, no charges at all.
The revaluation and associated reduction are not automatic. Businesses must apply and submit what might appear at first to be a complicated revaluation form. Doubtless, a small army of claims handlers will soon appear on the scene offering to submit the revaluation for a hearty cut of the future savings and any rebate.
Alternatively, businesses can speak to colleague in PASC UK who are producing a useful Q&A on how to complete and submit the form directly and at no cost, other than form filling. Not unreasonable, in return PASC UK simply wish to have the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and promote membership among professional self-caterers (full-time businesses, who generally do not let their properties or market them via agents). There is no obligation to join PASC UK and businesses are of course free to contact the valuation office direct, or engage agents to submit claims at an agreed cost or an agreed cut of the savings made.
Please consider circulating the PASC UK briefing note to your self-catering businesses:
Clearly there will be implications for business rate income in England and Wales. The downstream implications of these for local authority area funding are as yet unknown to us.