Log in

Non – Domestic Rates: 2023 Rates Revaluation

Non – Domestic Rates: 2023 Rates Revaluation

‘”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

In order to change the use of a property from a domestic dwelling to a business on non-domestic rates (NDR), operators must confirm that the business meets the definition of a self-catering property as defined in The Council Tax (Dwellings and Part Residential Subjects) (Scotland) Regulations 1992:[1]

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:

  • Is the property or are any of the units available (or intended to be available) for letting on a commercial basis as Self-Catering accommodation for short periods totalling 140 days or more in each financial year?
  • Is the property or are any of the units used as someone’s sole or main residence during part of the year? (e.g. for long-term lets in the winter months)?
  • Who operates the Self-Catering business?
  • What is your normal trading season?
  • What is the current range of tariffs for holiday lets, including nightly rates, if applicable? (Please enclose a price list, if you have one)
  • Is car parking included in the tariff?
  • Where do you advertise?
  • Please give the web address/url of the agencies you use for bookings.
  • Financial Accounts
  • Income Letting details
  • Expenditure details

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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: What address will the form be sent to?
A: The AIN will generally be sent to the owners / tenant’s correspondence address rather than the address of the actual SCU/property.
Q: When do I have to return it by?
A: The time limit for completing the form is 28 days from the issue of the notice.

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:

  • Cleaning and other duties for each and every changeover between lets – x people x x hours per changeover (approx xx person-hours per year). 
  • Travel time – x hours per changeover (approx xx person-hours per year)
  • Labour hours carrying out maintenance, redecorating, refurbishment and repairs.  At least xx hours per year, and often many more.
  • Administration, book-keeping, marketing, bookings management, social media, website development etc.  i.e. All the ‘background work’ for a successful business – at least xx hours per year, and often many more.
  • Industry engagement, continuous professional development, training, conferences etc – at least xx hours per year.

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.

[1] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2955/schedule/2/made

Get the latest from the sector

Stay up to date with our self-catering newsletter

Contact us


07379 257749

Follow us

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy