Business rates glossary of terms
Appeal: A formal challenge made to the Valuation Tribunal against the decision of the Valuation Office Agency.
Assessment: An entry in the Rating List.
Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD): The date set by Parliament on which all valuations are based. For rating, 1 April 2008 is the date at which rental levels must be looked at when assessing the Rateable Value of a property on the 2010 Rating List. For the 2017 revaluation, the AVD is 1 April 2015.
Billing Authority: The local council who collect the money generated by business rates.
“Check. Challenge. Appeal.”: This is the process introduced by government for business rates appeals against the 2017 and later Rating Lists.
“Check” is the first stage. Ratepayers (or their representatives) check the information that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) hold about their property.
“Challenge” is the ‘proposal’ stage. A proposal must be made within 4 months of the date the check was completed. If the VOA does not agree with the proposal and the ratepayer does not withdraw it, the VOA will serve a notice of decision setting out why they are not making the alteration or are making a different alteration from the one proposed.
“Appeal” is the final stage where, if the ratepayer is not happy with the VOA notice of decision, an appeal can be made to the independent tribunal. This must be done within 4 months of the date of the VOA decision notice.
Government Gateway: An online platform which allows access to Government services safely and securely. Ratepayers will be required to set up a secure account and invite their Rating Agent electronically to manage the “Check. Challenge. Appeal” process.
Hereditament: The area of a property included in a Rateable Value. This can cover all of one property, or be several separate units in one building or site.
Rateable Value (RV): Valuation Officers determine a Rateable Value for every non-domestic property in the country, used as the basis for the amount of rates payable. The RV is based on an estimate of the annual rent for the property, that it might reasonably be expected to let for, on the open market, on the AVD, subject to various assumptions.
Rates Payable: What the business owner pays to the local council, by reducing the RV the Rates Payable is reduced.
Revaluation: Revaluation aims to maintain fairness in the rating system by ensuring that the rates that each business pays reflect changes in the relative rental value of property over time.
The List: This is the list of all non-domestic properties in a billing authority’s area which gives their rateable value and other relevant information.
Transitional Arrangements: A limit set on the degree of change in the amount of rates a business will have to pay following a rating revaluation. This can be in the form of a reduction (transitional relief) or an increase (transitional surcharge).
Valuation Office Agency (VOA): Part of HM Revenue & Customs whose officers are responsible for the assessment of all non-domestic (business rates) properties in the country. The VOA and the Valuation Tribunal are entirely separate bodies, with different roles in the appeals process.