21 Mar 22 by Chris Sexton
Since 1 April 2017 an appeal against the business rates being charged for a property must be made through a process called Check Challenge Appeal known as CCA. The main features are:
- All submissions must be made to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) through their online portal
- The rate payer must set up an account, claim the property and appoint their agent before anything can be done
- The first Check stage addresses only factual errors when issues such as incorrect floor areas are dealt with
- Once the Check is resolved the Challenge stage then deals with arguments on value
- The final Appeal stage to the Valuation Tribunal happens if the rate payer is not satisfied with the result
- No new evidence or arguments can be introduced after the Challenge stage
- The process is long and drawn out with a maximum of 12 months for each stage to be completed.
Business Rates Reform
The process has proved difficult, but we have learned to live with it. Now future changes have been announced that rate payers and advisors will have to adapt to once more.
In the past all properties have been revalued every five years and that time lag has caused big problems when the economy has changed suddenly in between. A recent review of the business rates system has focused on solving that by increasing the frequency of revaluation to every three years.
The current CCA system does not fit that timescale and would result in appeals not reaching a conclusion before the next revaluation and a mess. As a result, changes have been announced that are aimed at speeding the process up but potentially make appeals even more difficult. Things will remain the same for the next 1 April 2023 revaluation but will be very different after that.
From the 1 April 2026
- The Check and Challenge stage will be combined into one
- The new combined Challenge must be made within three months by 30 June 2026
The implications are that within 6 months of finding out the new valuation the rate payer will have to assess if it is correct, gather all the evidence to support a lower valuation and be prepared to submit a detailed statement of case. Not an easy task and one to be well prepared for.
Our Ratings team are on hand to help – please contact us here