A forensic approach to business rates auditing

Recovering money from your business rates bill doesn’t have to mean a lengthy appeals process and a change in your rateable valuation – although we can help you with that too if you are adversely affected by the 2017 Rating Revaluation on April 1st 2017.

Forensic business rates auditing can instead identify ways to recover money from past business rates payments, even without needing any change to your rateable value.

How is this possible? There are actually many different ways that you could be entitled to money back from the current and previous Rating Revaluation periods:

  • Billing errors.
  • Unclaimed credits.
  • Overpayments.
  • Certification issues.
  • Unused reliefs.
  • Legislation changes.

Of course, material alterations to commercial premises may also lead to a change in rateable value, with a corresponding effect on the level of business rates you must pay, but in forensic business rates audits we are looking instead for evidence of past overpayment regardless of your current rateable valuation.

Under the magnifying glass

Identifying past overpayment and relief entitlements requires in-depth analysis of your historic business rates liabilities, reach back beyond the current Rating Revaluation period potentially over the course of many years and five-year rating cycles.

We combine accounts audits with detailed surveys to check for anomalies in your past business rates, and our own expertise to factor in technical angles that you and your past advisors may have missed, with one ultimate goal: to recover your money from the local authorities.

Our team are experienced but also up-to-date with emerging reliefs and entitlements, so you can be assured of an all-around level of expertise you are unlikely to find elsewhere.

Joined-up thinking

As mentioned above, a forensic business rates audit is a standalone process, but this does not exclude any other appeals you may have lodged, or any submissions under the Check, Challenge, Appeal regime.

Instead, keeping the forensic audit separate means that it will not interfere with any other processes you already have in place, which can take several months or even years to complete, and may ultimately lead to a downward revision of your premises’ rateable value.

With a forensic audit though, we can quickly investigate your past business rate payments on your entire commercial property portfolio, and flag up any potential avenues for a refund with less need for lengthy negotiations and submission of evidence and arguments.

It typically requires minimal input from you, and of course we are always on your side and will carry out any investigations with complete confidentiality, with the sole intention of recovering past overpayments of business rates.

To find out more about our expertise in the area of forensic business rate audits, or any of our other main practice areas such as empty rates mitigation and 2017 Rating Revaluation appeals, call us on our freephone number, 08000 710 014. Initial discussions are informal and without obligation – we are here to help.