English councils are expected to collect £25bn in business rates this year, despite more than 100,000 English businesses appealing their rates since the April 2017 revaluation.
A total of 100,740 non-domestic properties in England registered a “check” between 1 April 2017 and 30 June 2019, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has revealed. A check is the first stage of a formal appeal under the “check, challenge, appeal” regulations.
Rateable values, which are an estimate of a property’s annual rent on 1 April 2015, came into effect on 1 April 2017, and form the basis of the calculation for business rates bills until 2021.
VOA data shows that a total of 89,440 checks in England were resolved with 68% either agreed or partially agreed. It is estimated that the cost of business rates appeals will cost councils £1.1bn for 2019/20.
The ministry of housing, communities and local government expect councils in England to collect £25bn in business rates this year.
Alex Probyn, president of UK expert services at real estate adviser Altus Group, whose firm has lodged one in six of all appeals, said: “Despite some valid criticisms of the new appeal regulations, it’s positive to see that the number of first stage ‘Checks’ being settled has risen by 14% in the last quarter, but the focus must now be on the speed of response and resources at the ‘Challenge’ stage, where numbers are worryingly increasing with many fast approaching the deadline for ‘Appeal’.”