With the many issues currently being experienced south of the border, it is perhaps somewhat a blessing that the position in Scotland in more straightforward. Very little has changed since the last Revaluation in 2010 and we continue to adopt a strict appeal deadline where all Revaluation appeals require to be lodged by 30 September 2017. That said, there remains concern with many ratepayers that the current system is outdated and requires reform.
The Assessors in Scotland are legally bound to dispose of all 2017 Revaluations appeals by 31 December 2020. With the exception of a few appeals of a specialised nature, it is widely expected this will be achieved. But many ratepayers believe this is too long. Coupled with a 2 year delay in the planned 2015 Revaluation, 7 years have passed since rating assessments were last reviewed and although there are always winners and losers at every Revaluation, the losers have been affected more so this time around, particularly the hospitality and renewable sectors.
As with most ratepayers, the requirement to have their appeals dealt with as soon as possible is understandable. Previous experience shows smaller, less complicated properties being dealt with first but there has been increased concern that many ratepayers witnessing large uplifts in their liability should have priority. It will be interesting to see if Assessors will accommodate their requests once the appeal deadline has passed.
A comprehensive review of the current system in Scotland has been taking place with its findings being presented to the Scottish Government this summer. Radical change is unlikely given any alteration requires to be fiscally neutral but more frequent, 3 yearly Revaluations and the introduction of self-assessment are distinct possibilities. Some minor changes may occur but how quickly any of these will be implemented is debateable. Rest assured, we will keep you updated.