Your rates charge is worked out by multiplying the rateable value by the National Non-Domestic rate of 46.2p (2013/14). This rate is fixed by the Government. For properties with a rateable value of over £35,000 there will be an additional supplement of 0.9p on the National Non-Domestic Rate.
The Assessor (who is independent of both local and central government) determines the rateable value of your property. The value represents the rent at which the property might reasonably be expected to be let each year, an estimate of the annual rent the property would command on the open market.
Estimate your Rates
The Scottish Government's Business Rates Calculator gives you an indication of your rates bill based on the information that you give. However, any calculated figures provided are only estimates.
The Valuation Roll is an organised listing of all non-domestic properties with their rateable values together with details of the owners/occupiers of these premises. The Assessor is responsible for the compilation and maintenance of the Valuation Roll. The Valuation Roll is reviewed every five years in line with rateable values. The purpose of a revaluation is to bring rateable values to more up-to-date rental levels.
The Valuation Roll can be inspected during normal opening hours at the Assessor's office or any library. Valuation Rolls covering all of Scotland, including Dumfries and Galloway can also be inspected on the Scottish Assessors Association website.
A 'Return of Particulars' form is sent to each owner of rateable property around November/December each year. This shows an extract of the Valuation Roll entry and requests confirmation that it is correct. Details of any alterations that have been made to the property and, if applicable, rental information, are also requested. The Roll is amended to reflect any changes and Financial Services are also informed so that the Assessment Roll can be altered.
Between revaluations, all new properties are valued at the same level as that used at the previous revaluation. The most recent Revaluation took effect from 1 April 2010.
In a year of Revaluation or when he alters or makes a new entry in the Valuation Roll the Assessor is required to issue a Valuation Notice to the Proprietor, Tenant or Occupier named in the Roll. The Notice sets out details of the relevant entry and provides information on the time limits and rights of appeal available.
An owner or occupier can appeal against the valuation. An appeal must be in writing to the Assessor, and can be made under one of three categories:
If appeals cannot be resolved by negotiation, the matter will be heard by the Valuation Appeal Committee (VAC).
The VAC hearing your case will have no prior information about your property, the grounds of your appeal or of the Assessor's response. They will deal with the appeal on the basis of the evidence that they hear on the day.
If you think that your appeal is complicated, highly technical or raises major questions of principle or law, a chartered surveyor or solicitor can be consulted with to ask the VAC to refer your appeal to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. Special rules apply to such cases and you would be well advised to seek independent advice. The Assessor will also be able to provide guidance about such appeal and the relevant timetables. The Assessor may also ask to have an appeal referred to the Lands Tribunal.
Procedures in relation to appeals are set out in detail in 'The Valuation Appeal Committee (Procedure in Appeals under the Valuation Acts) (Scotland) Regulations 1995' (SI No 572/1995). Copies may be obtained at main public libraries and can be purchased at HMSO bookshops. Further information is also available in the "Non Domestic Rates Revaluation 2005 Appeal Procedure" leaflet, copies of which are available from the Assessor or on the Scottish Government website under Publications.
At least 70 days before the VAC is to consider your appeal, the secretary will send you a notice giving details of the date, time and place of the hearing. If you are unable to attend on the appointed date you should contact the secretary as soon as you receive the notice. The VAC will only agree to change the date if it considers that you have a good reason. The VAC can postpone or adjourn a hearing at any time but it will give you as much notice as possible.