Scottish Government Review of Business Rates

By 1st March 2016Archive, Uncategorised

Following an extensive consultation process, the Scottish Government today announced their initial response to the long awaited review of business rates … to set up a group, chaired by Ken Barclay (former chair of RBS in Scotland), and have a further consultation process. Sir Humphrey would be proud.

Due to report in 2017, the remit is to explore ideas and options to improve the business rates system in Scotland to better support business growth that:

  • consider how the system can respond to wider economic conditions and changing marketplaces;
  • support long-term growth and investment;
  • are based on overall revenue neutrality and on maintaining the overall level of funding for local government.

As the Government have already received detailed responses and proposals on the system, it is bitterly disappointing that we have not had a more substantive announcement. Positive changes (announced in Wednesdays Budget) to the business rates system in England, is resulting in a higher business rates burden for most Scottish ratepayers compared to England.

2016/ 2017 Rates Bills

If not already received, your 2016/ 17 rates bills will soon be dropping through the door.

Whilst they should be correct, errors can always exist so you should check them carefully.

Vacant Rates Relief

As detailed in our December bulletin, the new vacant rates charges come into force on 1st April. The largest impact is loss of 100% relief on industrial properties.

These proposals will come into force on 1st April 2016. Should you be affected then please contact us for further advice on how the changes may affect you and how you can mitigate their impact.

2017 Rating Revaluation

Assessors are currently preparing their 2017 assessments. The VOA are set to publish their draft RVs online in October. We await news of when the Scottish draft RVs will be published.

If you wish to know the potential impact of the Revaluation on your business, then please contact us for further advice.

Key Dates:

1st April 2015 – Valuation Date for 2017 Rating Revaluation
Summer 2015 – Summer 2016 – Assessors ingathering rental information and formulating schemes of valuation
Autumn 2016 – Issue of draft rateable values to Scottish Government
Autumn 2016 – publication of draft rateable values on SAA website??
February 2017 – confirmation of rateable values, business rate poundage and relevant relief schemes (including transitional relief)
1st April 2017 – 2017 – Rating Revaluation Comes into force
30th September 2017 – Deadline for lodging of appeals for 2017 Rating Revaluation (deadline may be subject to review)


We welcome the opportunity to mitigate your rates liability. For further information, or simply to discuss the above in greater detail please contact:

Billy McKaig

t: 0131 225 2583
m: 07778 149 224

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The Merchants’ Hall
22 Hanover Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EP