Business rates appeals process continues to cause businesses issues

There has been significant anger from businesses over the updated process
Published on: 25th April 2018

Recent research carried out by the Government has revealed that almost 90 per cent of users are dissatisfied with the new business rates appeals process. Research carried out since the revamped system was introduced, in April 2017, has shown that 88% of the 2,085 respondents described themselves as ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with the changes.

Comments from our clients generally revolve around criticism of the complex logon and registration process and a typical comment is “We understand the need for security and the registration process, but the manner that the VOA’s online service has been constructed makes it extremely difficult and we are struggling to even registered on the new system.”

Since the introduction of the new system there has been a huge decrease in the number of businesses contesting their rateable value, with a drop of approximately 97% compared to the previous system. The government are attributing this to businesses being happy with their rateable values but in truth we put this down to the fact that it has become overly complex to lodge an appeal or register an agent acting on a ratepayer's behalf.

Moving forward we accept that the check challenge and appeal system is here to stay, however, the Valuation Office Agency need to make urgent and significant changes to the system to make it more user-friendly and reduce the amount of red tape.

The changes are not all bad, as the transparency of the valuations has been improved and there appears to be an opportunity for simple factual alterations to the valuation list to be corrected quicker at the check stage.

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