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Comment: Business Rates - Keep Your Eye On The Ball

Wed 17th May 2017 | Money & Finance

As the 2017-18 drama draws to a halt and we head for the (short) intermission football clubs, both large and small, professional and amateur will want to be alert to the shrill whistle of the tax man whose season never ends.

Business rates are a charge on the use and occupation of all non-domestic structures including stadia, training facilities, shops, car parks and any other commercial assets. Those clubs seeking to improve and upgrade their facilities will be as well to budget for increases, but also consider the opportunity to ‘correct’ any excessive demands.

Demolition in north London of one famous stadium will mean ‘deletion’ of the rates payable…..until the new one is fully fit and ready for use. Any on-going building works taking place over the summer months to other stadia should, as a minimum, give a short term respite against rates, although the penalty eventually could mean an increase to cover the improved facility!

One area of particular concern is the treatment of ‘Grade A’ training facilities. Rating assessments for modern facilities (including club academies) tend to follow build cost and the amounts being spent now will inevitably lead to much higher taxes under the rating regime. Estimates are key at an early stage in the planning of a new or improved facility.

What is also key is a challenge to the effective dates of assessment. Without completion and sign off there are rules governing the date of assessment. Staged assessments or even partial rate relief are quite possible….but retrospective applications do not usually succeed.


Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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