Check. Challenge. Appeal.
As part of the reformed business rates system, the Department for Communities and Local Government has introduced a new three stage system known as 'Check. Challenge. Appeal.' (CCA) for the 2017 List.
The CCA system is intended to manage the flow of cases through the system in a structured and transparent way, and each step must be fully completed in sequence to submit an Appeal.
The Check stage sees the business ratepayer or agent confirming the specifics of the property and the physical facts that the Valuation Office have relied on in reaching their valuation. Any revised information would be submitted as a formal declaration. This process requires a detailed knowledge of the premises.
It is hoped that a large majority of cases will be resolved at this stage. This stage requires the Valuation Office and the ratepayer or agent to validate relevant facts, such as floor area, and agree so far as it is possible to do so.
The ratepayer cannot proceed to the Challenge stage until the Check has been completed – the intention being a property can remain in Check stage for up to 12 months although it is hoped that the majority of these cases can be resolved within 3 months.
The Challenge stage must be instigated by the ratepayer or agent within 4 months of the conclusion of the Check stage. A further 18 months is allowed to conclude the Challenge.
The business ratepayer or agent must prepare a substantive case detailing why the valuation provided by the Valuation Office is inaccurate, which is a far more detailed process than the previous Appeals system. It must include the grounds for the Challenge, reasons for the Challenge and detailed evidence to support the alternative valuation. All data would need to be entered manually.
This stage will involve the more detailed discussions on the level of value and will, amongst other things, consider the evidence being adopted.
Once the decision notice from the Challenge has been received, the business ratepayer or agent will have a further 4 months to decide whether to lodge an Appeal, although it is anticipated that the majority of cases will be satisfactorily dealt with during the Check and Challenge stages.