Warning over the deadline for rate claim rebates

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THE CLOCK is ticking on a deadline which will affect many companies.

Business rates specialist CVS has warned that a new regulation introduced in last year’s Autumn Statement which reduces the time for business rates appeals could cost UK businesses over £1.72bn – and that Portsmouth businesses could miss out on millions of pounds of rebates.

The adjustment will stop businesses from claiming business rates refunds past two years from March 31.

CVS chief executive Mark Rigby said: ‘Crucially there is now only one month left for businesses in Portsmouth to submit appeals where no action has been taken and, because of the Chancellor’s new regulations, where £13m in refunds is at risk of being lost.’

Approximately 70 per cent of properties across Portsmouth have yet to appeal their business rates meaning that £20m of refunds which could be returned to businesses is lying unclaimed.

‘The vast majority of businesses are well aware that they can claim refunds on overpaid business rates because of the discrepancy between previous property valuations and actual business rates bills,’ said Mr Rigby.

Currently the Rating List to allow businesses to claim back money owed to them is seven years.

Mr Rigby said: ‘This latest move by the Chancellor slams the door on businesses in Portsmouth where bills could have been incorrectly calculated and businesses already struggling to manage overheads might have substantially overpaid. We are saying to these businesses, “wake up, take action, and don’t miss out”.’

Last year The News launched a campaign to persuade the government to launch a review of the business rates system – and the chancellor announced a review in the Autumn Statememt, to report in December.

CVS says the inaccuracy of the system of charging business rates is highlighted by the fact there are currently 673,970 appeals lodged in England and Wales.