Business rates appeals plummet as companies struggle to navigate new system

The number of appeals to business rates made since a new system came in last year has crashed more than 99pc as companies struggle to navigate what experts have called an “appalling” process.

New figures released by the Government show that between April 1 2017, when the new system for appealing business rates was introduced, and December 31, just 1,210 valuations were challenged in England, a 99.3pc fall compared to the same period after the last system change in 2010.

The collapse in challenges is being seen as a direct consequence of the difficulties companies are reporting using a new “Check, Challenge, Appeal” system, which places the burden of proof on companies themselves. Just one case made it to the “appeal” stage in the period.

New regulations are also being introduced which will issue £500 fines if businesses appeal wrongly.

As a result, industry bodies said, thousands of businesses are not bothering to appeal their business rates, and could be paying far more than they should be.

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