New legislation to increase regularity of property revaluations for business rates

New legislation (the Non-Domestic Rates (Lists) Bill) has been introduced to ensure that organisations paying business rates payers in England will have bills that more accurately reflect current property values. A property’s business rates bill is based on a precise estimate of the premise’s rental value. Business rates revaluations are used to ensure that this estimate accurately reflects the market value of the property and maintain fairness by redistributing the total amount payable across the country.

Property revaluations will increase to every 3 years, from the current 5 years, and the next revaluation will be brought forward a year from 2022 to 2021. The Government will give ratepayers the information they need to estimate their new 2021 business rates bill as soon as possible and before 31 December 2020.

The Government has also published a factsheet providing further background information on the measures within the Bill.

The MHCLG press release notes: “The Government completed a fundamental review of business rates in 2016, and respondents agreed that property-based taxes were stable, easy to collect, and difficult to avoid. While alternative taxes were proposed, there was no consensus on these, and respondents were clear that such alternatives were not without their own issues. The Government has therefore maintained business rates as a property tax.”