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Explore self-assessments in the business rates valuation process

Last updated: 03:17pm 11 January 2019

We will make sure that revaluations are conducted more frequently to avoid large changes to the bills that businesses face, and explore the introduction of self-assessments in the valuation process.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.14

Our verdict

Business rates are revalued by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The change to self-assessment was proposed to help the government increase the frequency of business rate revaluation and remove the burden of the revaluation process from the VOA. Self-assessment is used in other areas of tax, for example income tax and inheritance tax.

So what progress has been made? In March 2018, the government released a summary of responses to its review of business rates revaluation. It concluded:

“The government has decided not to introduce self-assessment or a formula model at this time.”

We have to bear in mind that the government pledged only to “explore” the introduction of self-assessments. That means that, given there is evidence they have considered this approach (even though deciding not to go ahead), they have fulfilled their promise. The policy can be therefore be considered ‘done’.

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