Commercial surveying news from the Beattie Partnership

Independent Schools and Business Rates Revaluation – What Information Should You Include?

The time for independent schools to act is now because the information supplied to the Valuation Office this year will be vital to the 2017 rating revaluation.

The revaluation is going to be based on values as at 1 April 2015, so it is essential that schools complete the Valuation Office’s VO 6065 form accurately which asks for informaiton on build costs, within the 56 day period allowed. 

Independent schools are something of a special case when it comes to business rates as they can claim some relief as part of their charitable status, but also because the various categories their buildings come under are subject to different levels of assessment.

Some things to think about when they fill in the form are, for example, how refurbishments are handled. Will the Valuation Office treat this as new build?”

There may be non-standard costs involved, such as an overly expensive demolition, which is very useful to mention in the accompanying Notes, as the Valuation Office will distinguish this from normal demolition costs.

Another thing for schools to consider is what has been included within any refurbishment or redevelopment. How is new furniture handled, for instance? Is it included within fitting-out costs? If it is, it might make the cost of the fit-out seem higher than it should be on the Form. Schools should always bear in mind that desks are not rateable.

Like other areas of business, when it comes to completing a Request for Information form, it is absolutely crucial that schools get the details right. Getting those details right now could save schools pain and inconvenience later.

The detail on all these Forms will feed into the aggregate of data that the Valuaton Office collect on build costs and ultimately will result in the draft 2017 valuations which will be published next year.  This will be worth reviewing on a line-by-line basis and seeking professional advice where appropriate.

In preparation for the 2017 Revaluation this Autumn, The Beattie Partnership will be publishing the results of our research into the anticipated levels of increase across the independent schools sector and some useful pointers for Clients, as to the key dates on the horizon.

If you require further information, or wish to get a copy please email/contact us and we will send you a copy once its published.  Our contacts details are available by clicking this link.

Published: 25th August 2015