‘”Assessors’ offices across Scotland are currently preparing for the non-domestic revaluation which comes into effect on 1 April 2023.
A key part of a revaluation is the ingathering and analysis of information in order that rateable values are set as accurately as possible.
Accordingly, Assessors are issuing information requests, known as Assessors Information Notices (AINs), across the country. It is imperative that AINs are responded to, regardless of whether the property is receiving rates relief or not.
Where recipients have difficulty in responding, they should contact their local Assessor’s office without delay, particularly given that non responders are subject to a civil penalty, the amount of which can rise to very significant levels.”
Gary Bennet, President, Scottish Assessors Association
Self-catering holiday accommodation
Any lands and heritages—
(a) which are not the sole or main residence of any person; and
(b) which either—
(i) are made available by a relevant person for letting, on a commercial basis and with a view to the realisation of profits, as self-catering accommodation for short periods amounting in the aggregate to 140 days or more in the financial year; or
(ii) if they have not been made so available for letting in that year, are intended by a relevant person to be made so available for letting in that year and the interest of the relevant person in the lands and heritages is such as to enable him to let them for such periods.
According to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Act 2020, at each Revaluation (previously every 5 years, but, from 2023, every 3 years), the Scottish Assessors have to arrive at rateable values for all self-catering businesses.
For the majority of businesses on NDR, Assessors look at the rent which businesses pay for their premises, but self-catering units (SCUs), unlike shops and factories, do not have a sufficient amount of let subjects, so the Assessors have to seek a typical income and expenditure pattern for our sector. They ask for income, expenditure and profit over the previous 3 years, and the type of accommodation (house / flat / chalet). Given that investments can come in large chunks, they ask for three years of figures so as to iron out troughs and peaks.
Assessors Information Notices (AINs) are sent out by post to each SCU, requesting clarification of the following:
The information must be provided within 28 days from the issue date or you may be liable for a civil penalty. You can do so by completing and returning the form by post or by email attachment.
This is a very detailed form to have to complete and a rather onerous process for operators, but one that we simply have to do as part of administering our businesses. The better the data the Assessors receive, the more accurate our rateable values will be.
The ASSC works closely with the Assessors before, during and after each Revaluations and we will provide further advice on how to fill out the form in due course.
Q: I haven’t received a form, what do I do?
A: If you receive a form, return it within 28 days. If you don’t receive one, don’t worry – your Assessor may only be asking for a sample.
Q: I haven’t finalised my 2020-2021 accounts, what do I do?
A: Where figures up to year end 31/03/2121 are currently unavailable, and waiting for those figures to be compiled would mean a significant delay in returning the form, then operators should complete for 2019 and 2020 years.
Q: What are the penalties associated with the new Civil Penalty regime?
A: Section 30 of the Act states that if a person fails to comply with an assessor information notice within 28 days (section 26(3)), the assessor must issue them with a penalty notice stating they are liable to a penalty of £200 or 1% of the rateable value, whichever is greater (or £1,000 where the property is not entered on the roll) (section 30(3)). 42 days after the penalty notice is given, the person becomes liable to a further penalty of £1,000 or 20% of the rateable value, whichever is great (or £10,000 where the property is not entered on the roll) (section 30(4)), and 56 days after the penalty notice is given (or 14 days after the first increase), the person becomes liable to a further penalty of £1,000 or 50% of the rateable value, whichever is great (or £50,000 where the property is not entered on the roll). Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Act 2020 (legislation.gov.uk)
Q: What evidence of letting do I need to provide in Part C?
A: Currently, completion of Section C of the Assessor Information Notice will be sufficient, but this will change, in future years, as new Regulations, evidencing 70 days actual use, are due to be put in place, with effect from 1st April 2022.
Q: How do I fill in Part E under Expenditure if I carry out all the work myself?
A: Under ‘Other Expenditure’, you could add something along the lines of: Not included as paid expenses in our annual accounts is all the work carried out to operate the business which is fulfilled by the two owners/partners. This includes:
Q: Will high achievers be penalised with higher Rateable Values?
A: Assessors are genuinely seeking an average income and expenditure from a hypothetical tenant, so peaks and troughs will be taken into account in the overall rate.. Rateable Values are set per bed space to a formula.that is an established valuation practice.
Q: I heard that we would have to evidence over 70 days actually let as well as 140 days available to let?
A: The Scottish Government intends to bring Regulations that will require proof of 70 days letting, with effect from 1st April 2022. What form that proof will take, is still unknown, but the ASSC is meeting with Assessors in the coming weeks.