Published on: 18 August 2022
New British Marine Scotland member, Gerald Eve, has provided a summary of information relating to the changes planned for the Non-Domestic Rates System in Scotland which will come into effect in 2023.
Changes to the Non-Domestic Rates System in Scotland
The Non-Domestic Rates System in Scotland is set for significant change in 2023. The Scottish Government has released further information in relation to the new proposal/appeal system that will come into effect for the 2023 Revaluation. The new system impacts all ratepayers in Scotland and their ability to correctly challenge their rateable value.
The Scottish Government invited consultation from September to December of last year on five draft Scottish Statutory Instruments that relate to technical reforms to the non-domestic rates system in Scotland. Gerald Eve responded to the consultation on behalf of clients, with key focus on the impacts the draft regulations would have on ratepayers. The Scottish Governments’ analysis of the responses to the consultation can be viewed here.
Gerald Eve has summarised key points to note from the Scottish Government’s response:
- The objective of the proposal requirements is to limit the number of appeals the assessor receives, therefore the new proposal document is as the draft regulations detailed. A proposal will require significant upfront work before any meaningful discussions and negotiations can be had with the assessor.
- Proposals must be submitted with clear reason with full supporting grounds, valuation and a statement relating to how the evidence supports the proposed alternative value.
- There is a strict four month window to submit revaluation proposals from 1 April to 31 July 2023.
- All new interest proposals and material change of circumstance proposals must be lodged within four months of a notice being received or date of a material change of circumstance.
- Assessor maintains the rights to reject a proposal if incomplete but will notify the proposer of the reasons and how to make it valid which must be done within 28 days.
- The Scottish Government has taken on board the recommendation that a 14 day period to appeal a rejected proposal is insufficient. This has been extended to 28 days.
Rates Payments to Councils
Billing authorities are now enforcing strict payment deadlines with business rates. Whereby, if payment is late in consecutive months or behind by more than a month they will demand a full year’s rates, PLUS a 10% surcharge, usually via a third party agent.
Gerald Eve is urging clients to beware – a recent case narrowly avoided a 10% surcharge for a client whose annual bill was close to £100 million.
Barry McEwan, partner in the Gerald Eve Glasgow Office, commented: “Many ratepayers in the marine industry cancelled direct debits during covid and could be unwittingly caught with this if not already reset by now. We would advise all our clients within the marine industry to ensure that direct debit payments with the relevant local billing authority are maintained.
“We are aware of the burden the new system places on ratepayers, we are well placed to advise on matters relating to business rates.”
British Marine has a number of members who may be able to offer further advice regarding the 2023 Revaluation.
British Marine would encourage members in Scotland to consider the proposed changes ahead of the 2023 Revaluation and thank Gerald Eve for providing this update.
Contact Info: www.geraldeve.com
Barry McEwan, Partner, tel 0141 227 2377 or email BMcewan@geraldeve.com