In our update of 6th May we advised on the announcements of the postponement of the anticipated 2021 revaluations in England and Wales.
Today the Government in England has announced via a Ministerial Statement that the next revaluation will now take place on 1st April 2023 based upon property rental values and the state of the economy at an antecedent valuation date (AVD) of 1st April 2021.
Whilst we welcome the clarity that this provides, rates bills will be based on 2015 rental levels for a further two years which makes little sense in a post-Covid world.
We have therefore called on the Government to implement substantial cuts to the UBR multiplier over the next two years to help all businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are currently awaiting confirmation from the Welsh Government that the same revaluation dates will apply in Wales.
In Scotland the next revaluation remains set for 1st April 2022 with an AVD of 1st April 2020 but we understand that the Scottish Government is currently reviewing the position.
The Government has also published a call for evidence as part of the promised Fundamental Review of the Business Rates system.
In a change to previous reviews they are asking for responses in two phases. Views on the UBR multiplier and rates reliefs, as well as any other areas of pressing concern, are requested by 18th September, presumably to feed in to the planned Autumn Statement. Responses on all other issues which relate to longer term opportunities for reform are required by 31st October.
We will be making our own response but encourage you to engage and take the opportunity to put forward your own views where possible. We’d be happy to discuss the issues and help you to prepare your own submissions.
Although the lockdown measures are easing these remain challenging times, and while some of you will benefit from the revaluation decision, for others it will create yet another issue to be addressed. Either way, our team is here to help you find your way through the months and years ahead and minimise your rates bills wherever possible.