A Revaluation is a regular, until recently 5 yearly, reassessment of all non- domestic properties. It applies to all land and any buildings on those lands unless the class of property is expressly exempted by law. The most common exemptions are Agricultural Lands and Domestic properties; the latter group is instead liable to Council Tax.
The previous Revaluation was in 2010 and the Revaluation proposed for 2015 was postponed to 2017 by the Scottish Government and, for England & Wales, the UK Government. Revaluation results in the production of a new Valuation Roll which contains new business rates valuations for all non-domestic properties in the Assessor’s area.
Following a Revaluation, business rates valuations will generally remain unchanged until the next Revaluation; unless the property is altered or other changes take place. Assessors are responsible for the valuation of the various properties. The collection of Rates and the administration of exemptions and relief is the responsibility of the Director of Finance within each Council.
The Barclay Review of Business Rates in Scotland was published in August 2017 with a number of recommendations plus a timeline for implementation of the new proposals.
The main recommendations of the Review have been divided into four main sections as follows:
- Efficiency and Transparency of the business rates system;
- Additional Support for ratepayers;
- Proposals to support Growth in the Scottish economy; and
- Tackling the issue of Tax Avoidance in order to ensure fairness
One of the main recommendations is for a three yearly revaluation cycle with a tone date one year before. Historically, there has been a five yearly cycle with a tone date two years prior. This new revaluation cycle would take effect from 2022 and would help to provide a business rates system which more accurately reflects, upwards and downwards, fluctuations in the non-domestic property market.