DWD have considerable experience in advising owners and operators of energy related infrastructure across the UK such as gas/oil fields, underground gas storage projects, pipelines and power stations helping them to manage and reduce their business rates liability.
Anyone that pays Business Rates has the right to challenge that assessment. Doing so will not affect your relationship with your Local Authority and is something that many businesses do at some point, to reduce their operating costs.
We have particular expertise in the field of electricity generation acting for clients such as Centrica, Intergen, Vittol (VPI CHP), Marchwood Power and Seabank Power.
Business rates are a tax on the occupation of property.
Two separate parts of government administer business rates. The Valuation Office (VOA) is part of HMRC and responsible for identifying and valuing units of rateable property (the Rating List). Local Authorities are responsible for identifying the ratepayers, applying the correct charging rules, issuing rate demands and collecting the tax.
Our strategy for tax mitigation work falls into two distinct parts: Challenging the assessments created by the VOA and managing the charging process (exemptions are available where property is not occupied or is partially occupied for example).
To keep the tax base up to date, all non-domestic properties across the UK are revalued periodically. The latest general revaluation in Great Britain was effective from 1 April 2017. The current 2017 Rating List revaluation brings new challenges especially with regards to an aggressive transitional relief scheme and an entirely new business rates appeal process.
Opportunities to mitigate business rate liabilities arise throughout the property lifecycle.
Prior to occupation, there may be opportunities to take advantage of empty property exemptions and negotiate the effective dates for any rate liability to commence. Where construction activity is involved in providing a new facility it may be possible to remove any empty rate liability completely or substantially reduce liability for many months or even years.
During the operational phase of a project there will potentially be reconfiguration, expansion major overhaul works. Each of these events provides a potential opportunity to reduce the liability for business rates.
At the end of the projects life the empty property’s rate liability will need to be carefully managed. Different strategies will need to be adopted dependant on any demolition or redevelopment plans and any lead in times to works commencing etc. Exemptions in excess of the statutory minimums are often achievable as are exemptions to reflect the phased vacation of projects.
Part of our mission at DWD is to take the hassle of business rates off your desk.
We will provide annual budget liability forecast for existing properties and also provide budget advice for any proposed new projects that you may be considering taking. We will check and authorise rate demands.
We offer advice on Business Rate Audits which review historic liability issues and often yield significant savings. To ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of information supplied, we also complete Valuation Officer requests for information on our clients’ behalf.