Firms are being warned about cold calling companies claiming to be able to secure reductions to business rates following a series of complaints.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team is advising businesses to decline cold call offers to carry out a rating appeal as these services tend to have contracts that are carefully worded and do not match up to the salesperson’s verbal promises.
Local authorities are required to collect business rates on behalf of central Government and businesses are revalued and given new rates every five years.
The council receives a flurry of complaints every five years as rogue firms target businesses whose rates have increased and charge large up-front fees to make an appeal against a revaluation.
Businesses wanting to appeal their new rates can get advice by contacting the Valuation Office Agency or reading the details of the appeals procedure outlined in the revaluation paperwork and the notes accompanying the rates bill.
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of the community safety committee, said: “Local companies that sign up to a business rates revaluation service and pay the fee have no automatic right to cancel and could face a huge bill no matter what the outcome of the appeal. Our advice is for businesses to be very cautious of claims from cold callers saying they can secure big rate reductions and always be suspicious if you are asked to pay large sums of money upfront, especially for something you can do yourself.”
For advice, see www.gov.uk/guidance/valuation-office-agency-and-business-rates-non-domestic-rates