Rating appeal struck out as invalidly made

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has struck out an appeal made by a ratepayer against the rating assessment of its property, on the basis that the appeal was made on the same grounds as a previous appeal that had already been determined by the Valuation Tribunal for England, and was therefore invalid. Ratepayers seeking to appeal against the assessment of a property need to be aware of the “one bite of the cherry” rule.

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Rates mitigation scheme ineffective because of “sham” leases

The High Court has determined that leases put in place for an empty rates mitigation scheme were “sham” transactions and, as a consequence, the rates mitigation scheme was ineffective and the owner of the building was liable for empty rates. The Court dismissed an appeal by the ratepayer against a ruling by the Magistrates’ Court in Leeds that the transactions were shams. This is the latest in a now lengthy series of legal challenges to rates mitigation schemes. ...Read More

COVID-19 “material change” business rates appeals to be quashed

The Government has announced that it will introduce legislation to “rule out” business rates appeals made seeking reductions in assessment because of any “material change of circumstances” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, an additional £1.5 billion of support will be made available to businesses affected by the pandemic that have not, so far, been eligible for business rates relief. The additional relief will be made available through local authorities, on application by affected ratepayers. Applications will commence only once the legislation to suppress appeals is in place. ...Read More

Budget 2021 – limited extension of business rates reliefs

In his 2021 Budget, the Chancellor has announced a limited extension to business rates holiday that has been in place since 1 April 2020. Qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure, properties will continue to receive 100% rates relief for the period April to June 2021. From June 2021, relief will continue at 66% for the rest of the 2021-22 rate year, but will be capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. ...Read More

Review of Business Rates is delayed

The publication of the Government’s final report on the fundamental review of business rates has now been delayed until Autumn 2021. The review was announced by the Chancellor in the Spring Budget of 2020 and was originally due to publish a final report in time for the 2020 Autumn Statement. When that Autumn Statement was scrapped because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, publication of the final report of this review was postponed until Spring 2021. It has now been postponed further to Autumn 2021 ”when there is more economic certainty”. ...Read More