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FAILURE TO APPEAL RATES NOW COULD RESULT IN FUTURE STEALTH TAX, WARNS SCC

[ 14-09-2010 ]

With just a fortnight to go before the closing date for appeals against Business Rate valuations, Scottish Chambers of Commerce are urging businesses which currently receive rates reliefs to look again at their rateable values, as missing out on an appeal now could cost them dearly if rates reliefs fall victim to Government spending cuts next year.  Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We are extremely concerned that businesses which currently feel insulated from rises in rateable values as a result of reliefs such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme may be vulnerable to a stealth tax if future Scottish Government cutbacks result in the removal of certain reliefs or changes in eligibility thresholds. 

“That is why it is vitally important for all Scottish businesses to look again at their rateable values, even if they currently receive discounts of up to 100%, as by the time any cuts to the reliefs system are implemented, it will be too late to appeal against valuations.  Businesses need to appeal by 30 September if they are to be sure that unjustified valuations are challenged and to avoid a potential sting in the tail if current reliefs are altered in future years. 

“The doubling of a business’s rateable value may seem irrelevant if that business is receiving a 100% rebate, but if that relief is removed next year or the year after, it will by then be too late to appeal.  Our advice to businesses is to appeal their rates valuation if they feel it is unwarranted, even if they are in receipt of reliefs.  With only two weeks left to do so, time is very much of the essence.”

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