Will you pay too much, or too little, for your business rates?

1 April 2023 is a key date for business rates liabilities with new rates due based on the 2023 Rating List. For businesses in the minerals and waste management sector, the upcoming revaluation of business rates is likely to have a significant impact on the bottom line. Simon Atherton, Head of Minerals and Waste at Gerald Eve, urges businesses to understand the factors affecting their rateable values (RV) and review their business rates liabilities, as not all will be accurate.

Average Rateable Value across sector has increased by 40%

The 2023 RV is based on an unusual economic period. Increases in rental and construction costs since the 2017 revaluation valuation date (1 April 2015) have impacted liabilities on the 2023 Rating List, while the valuation dates for Revaluation 2023 reflect new factors, raising questions about assessment accuracy. As a result, rate assessments across minerals and waste management have increased by an average of 40%, with some individual property assessments increasing by more than 150%.

The basis upon which most minerals and waste properties are assessed is inherently more complex than other sector types. Due to a lack of comparable evidence, these properties are assessed on an item-by-item basis. Because of the expansive and detailed breakdown of assessments, and the specificity of reliefs and schemes available, it can be easy for errors to go unnoticed. Valuing these properties is a nuanced and intricate process, often confusing the uninitiated.

The minerals and waste sector as a whole is suffering from increased operational costs, stalling demand, and now it is being laboured with significant rises in business rates liabilities. The following 12 months will be challenging for most operators, so it is imperative that operational expenses are reduced where possible.

Why check your rates liability

Understanding how your bills are calculated ensures that you are assessed fairly and receive the maximum benefit from potential relief schemes. Here are the key factors that affect your liability:

  • Your 2023 RV is derived from an exceptional economic period.
  • Valuation Officers and Scottish Assessors have been unable to access all crucial information which may have resulted in general assumptions about your property.
  • Specific reliefs, schemes and grants could be applied to your property for the 2017 and 2023 Rating List but could be missed.
  • England, Wales and Scotland now have different multipliers, reliefs, schemes, appeals systems, and timeframes.
  • Underassessed values from the 2017 or 2023 rating lists might be corrected by the Valuation Office and Scottish Assessors, presenting you with an unforeseen bill not budgeted for.

Prepare now.

For properties in England and Wales, you can review your business rates through the ‘Check Challenge Appeal’ process from 1 April 2023 or try to pre-agree them before then. For properties in Scotland, ratepayers only have until 31 July 2023 to submit a challenge for their 2023 RV values.