14 Apr 21 by Lesley Anderson
Mazars Ruling refers to the case ‘Woolway v Mazar’ when in 2016 a Supreme Court case changed the way that the Valuation Office Agency assessed the rateable value of premises where there is more than one occupier. Our team of business rates consultants work with clients to check and challenge business rates valuations and bills, using our knowledge of ruling like these and other factors. Understanding the business rates process can be complicated but we will help you wherever we can!
Vickery Holman have recently helped a Plymouth office client save over £30,000 in business rates. This client was one of many period office occupiers effected by the ‘Woolway v Mazars Case’, which concerned the rating of different floors in a large multi-occupied building. In 2015 and of the back of this case, the VOA took the view that individual offices in multi-occupied buildings should be assessed separately, meaning many occupiers lost their small business rates relief entitlement, worth up to £5,800 per year in many cases.
In 2018 and in response to a reversal of the decision in ‘Woolway v Mazars’, the VOA made the decision to allow offices which shared a common wall, ceiling or floor to be merged as one assessment, effective from April 2017. This process has 2 positive effects on occupiers:
- By having one assessment with a Rateable Value of under £15,000, the occupiers is often re-eligible for small business rates relief, meaning no business rates to pay in many cases.
- The larger an office is, the lower rate per square metre is applied to the assessment. This can reduce the Rateable Value of an assessment substantially.
The VOA have since on request remerged thousands of office premises. However, they do not carry out this task automatically. It is the occupier who must register an application. We have a dedicated business rates team who are experienced in assessing potential merging opportunities and who are happy to discuss how we can help you in this area, or with any other business rates enquiry.
To find out more about business rates, please click here.