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Non-Domestic Rates Update

The ASSC received a letter recently from Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance, Tom Arthur.

In it, he advised of some “forthcoming minor changes in respect of the self-catering accommodation thresholds for non-domestic rates in order to improve the administration of the system.”

“As you will be aware, to be classed as a Non-Domestic property liable for Non-Domestic rates instead of Council Tax, a self-catering property must be intended to be let for 140 days and actually let for 70 days or more in the financial year. This was a recommendation from the independent Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates which was accepted in 2017 by the Scottish Government in order to counter a known avoidance tactic for second homes. Scottish Assessors may request evidence of intention of availability to let, actual letting, or both, in order to determine whether self-catering accommodation has met the thresholds in a financial year.

“The consultation on Council Tax for Second and Empty Homes earlier this year invited views on the thresholds at which self-catering accommodation becomes liable for non-domestic rates. Having considered the responses, and those from businesses in particular, I am pleased to confirm that we are not changing the self-catering thresholds at this time as it is still too early to assess the impact of the recent changes.”

Read the letter below.

The following instrument was laid on 15th January, which outlines the changes on operational aspects around the threshold requirements for self-catering accommodation in order to improve the administration of the system.

The Council Tax (Dwellings and Part Residential Subjects) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2024

The policy note for this instrument provides further detail of these changes which include introducing a timescale of 56 days in which evidence must be provided in response to requests from assessors, and clarifying the unit of measurement for the letting requirement as the number of nights which it is available to let, and actually let, rather than the number of days.

ASSC CEO, Fiona Campbell met with the Scottish Assessors Association this week to discuss the development of an on-line form for self-catering unit operators to complete via the Scottish Assessors Portal. Find out more.

Fiona Campbell, CEO of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said:

“Following lobbying from the ASSC, we are pleased to announce that the Scottish Government will not alter the self-catering thresholds for non-domestic rates liability at the present time.  

“In terms of some of the other changes announced, we also support the amendments to administration which will ensure clarity, consistency and a more joined-up approach.

“Despite these welcome developments, please be assured that the ASSC will remain active on this to ensure our members get a fair deal on the issue in the future.”

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