Business Rates appeals

You can challenge business rate relief decisions and rateable values. But you must always keep paying your rates while you wait to hear back. 

The appeal process is different depending on what type of decision you want to challenge:

Small business and mandatory rate relief decisions

Discretionary rate relief decisions

Rateable values

You don't need anyone to represent you, though you can get support from professional Rating Advisers for rateable value appeals. 

Small business and mandatory rate relief decisions

Where you meet the conditions for small business relief or a mandatory relief, you will definitely get the relief. Where you don't meet the conditions, you won't. But you can contact the Business Rates team if we say you aren't eligible and you think we have made a mistake, if you think you might have given us the wrong information, or if relevant new information has become available.

What happens next

We'll check the details again. We'll then either send you a new bill or confirm the original decision was correct.

Discretionary rate relief decisions

You can contact us to challenge a decision about discretionary relief if you think we haven't interpreted what you told us correctly or if you have new information that is relevant.  

What happens next

We'll review the situation, taking into account what you tell us. The councillor who is the Portfolio Holder for Finance will make a decision. This decision is final. You'll then either get a new bill or confirmation that we can't change our decision.

Rateable value decisions

Rateable values are set by the the HM Revenue and Customs Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The VOA website explains how to check if your rateable value is correct, and what to do if you think it it isn't. There is a new online process for challenging 2017 rateable values, available from 1 April 2017. 

Where you disagree with a valuation, it's usually possible to sort things out informally. If you can't reach agreement, you can make a formal appeal. There is no charge for making an appeal.

You can talk directly to the VOA for advice

What happens next

The VOA will review the case. They might need to visit the property. 

If they decide that a change in rateable value is needed, they will work out the new value and let us know. We'll then send you a revised bill. 

If you disagree with the VOA's decision, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal

You must keep paying the amount of business rates shown on your bill while you wait for the VOA or Valuation Tribunal decision. If you appeal and the appeal is successful, we'll refund any overpayment.

Rating Advisers

You can challenge decisions yourself, or you can work with a Rating Adviser. If you do decide to get the support of a Rating Adviser, choose someone who has relevant knowledge and expertise as well as professional indemnity insurance. Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified to advise on rating issues and are regulated by rules of professional conduct.

Make sure you understand what you will be paying. Some advisers charge an up-front fee, others take a percentage of any money they save you.