20 Nov 23 by Alice Kodritsch
The Non-Domestic Rating Act 2023 gained Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. As a result of the Act, the law is changing in a number of areas, with changes expected to come into force at different times.
Non-Domestic Rating Act 2023 – what’s changed?
The duration of rating lists have been reduced in length with business rates revaluations to occur every 3 years rather than every 5 which will take place from 1st April 2026.
To support the delivery of more frequent revaluations, ratepayers will be under a duty to provide information to the Valuation Office Agency about themselves, their hereditament, and their business. To support the linking of tax and property data, ratepayers will also be required to provide HMRC with a taxpayer reference number (such as a self-assessment or corporation tax unique reference number). These duties will be operated through a single online service and their introduction will follow a soft launch, a public information campaign and user testing.
Following the precedent set during Covid, the grounds for a ‘material change of circumstances’ (MCC) have been amended. This means that changes in legislation, licensing regimes and guidance from public bodies will no longer lead to a property’s rateable value changing between revaluations.
Section 1 of the Act provides the overarching framework for improvement relief which aims to remove any additional liability created following certain ‘qualifying improvement works’ undertaken on a property. The new relief will apply from 1st April 2024 to works completed by 31st March 2028. The relief will last for 12 months after the works are complete, with the regime set to be in place until 1st April 2029. The ratepayer will need to be in occupation of the property from the commencement of the works in order to qualify for relief meaning that a landlord undertaking improvements to a vacant building will not be eligible for the relief. Further engagement and communications on this aspect will follow in due course from the VOA.
Other relief changes include the removal of the restriction preventing billing authorities from making a decision to award discretionary relief more than 6 months after the end of the relevant financial year. In addition, billing authorities will be able to serve a completion notice on refurbished buildings and return them to the rating list, using the same procedure as for new buildings which is anticipated to take effect from December 2023.
Please contact a member of the Vickery Holman Rating team for general enquiries or advice as to whether the changes outlined in the Rating Act may impact on your non-domestic property.