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Not too late to appeal 2010 business rates

LEEDS, 30 September, 2016 - Property-owners and occupiers may be focused on their upcoming 2017 draft business rates made officially available today, but they could still save significant sums by looking to the past, according to a Leeds-based ratings expert.
Paul DavinsonPaul Davinson, Rating Director at JLL's Leeds office, well understands why so much attention is being given to the Valuation Office Agency's (VOA) first assessment of rating liabilities in seven years – which have just been released in draft form today (Friday 30 September). Businesses in England and Wales can now go online to check their new draft rateable value. From this they can get an estimate of what their business rates will be from April 2017.  According to JLL, business occupiers and landlords can however still win appeals against the 2010 ratings list, if they research, prepare and submit appeals before the end of the 2016-2017 tax year.
“As soon as the new valuations for 2017 are issued, there will be a very intensive period when many businesses will do their sums, and then work with their advisers to prepare appeals against the VOA's calculations,” says Paul Davinson.
“They mustn't forget though it's still possible to appeal against the VOA's assessments made in 2010, which apply until the end of March 2017.  Davinson says it's particularly important for appeals against the 2010 valuations to be submitted as early as possible, because the VOA has a massive backlog of appeal cases which have yet to be heard. 

“It's been suggested that the VOA has a backlog of around 300,000 cases, and that number will only rise once the 2017 assessment is issued. Appeals have to be meticulously researched and prepared, because the VOA often won't explain the rationale for its valuations until the appeal is underway.
”By looking too far into the future on this issue, they might well be passing up the chance to win back money they thought they had lost."