The Scottish Business Rates Team

The Scottish Business Rates Team, led by Alistair Ferrier, provides advice on all related matters, including business rates appeals and negotiations, presentation of appeals to Local Valuation Appeal Committees and Lands Valuation Appeal Court, business rates payment and refund management, empty rates advice, valuation for rating, property inspections and retail sector expertise.

The team are now heavily involved in dealing with 2017 Rating Revaluation appeals.

2017 rating assessments are based on April 2015 property valuations and are the basis for rate liabilities through to April 2022.

Business rates in Scotland broadly follows the same principles as England and Wales although there are some notable differences in terminology and legislation:

  • Appeals must be lodged with the local Assessor within 6 months of the Valuation Notice being issued, or within 6 months of becoming the ratepayer.
  • Scottish government establishes the Uniform Business Rate and any supplements. They have responsibility for transitional arrangements and the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
  • Empty rates legislation in Scotland changed from 1 April 2016. Most empty properties are entitled to 3 months at 50% liability before 90% liability is payable. Empty industrial properties are entitled to 6 months at full relief before 90% liability is payable. Listed buildings are entitled to full empty rates relief.

The long-awaited Barclay Review was published in August 2017:

http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00523643.pdf

Led by Ken Barclay, former Chairman of RBS but constrained by the Scottish government’s demand that their recommendations be revenue neutral the group put forward 30 reforms for the short and medium term, grouping them as follows:

hoping that those would be acceptable to both business and deliverable in Parliament.

The most notable reforms were as follows.

  1. Measure to support economic growth
  2. Measures to improve ratepayer experience and administration of the system
  3. Measures to increase fairness and a level playing field

The review did not shy away from more challenging recommendations, including:

  • A move to three-yearly Revaluations from 2022
  • A reduction in the large business supplement from 2.6 to 1.3p in the pound.
  • The need for more transparency from Assessors, or the potential for a single Statutory body, responsible to Ministers.

GL Hearn have commented in respect of this review. Click here

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We provide advice on all related matters, including business rates appeals and negotiations, presentation of appeals to Local Valuation Appeal Committees and Lands Valuation Appeal Court, business rates payment and refund management, empty rates advice, valuation for rating, property inspections and retail sector expertise.