VOA latest “Check Challenge Appeal” stats tell two different stories

The latest “Check Challenge Appeal”  business rates appeal figures ending December 2021 show the Valuation Office Agency has had the highest ever success rate in resolving checks and challenges since the list began.

Whilst this sounds like good news, it can also be directly linked to the Government introducing legislation late last year that prevented Covid-related Material Change of Circumstance (MCC) appeals being considered.

According to latest VOA figures, of the 625,070 checks registered since the start of the list on April 1, 2017, 617,420 (99%) are now resolved.

Of the 117,370 challenges, the second stage of the Check Challenge Appeal process, 92,550 (79%) have been dealt with. The figures highlight there are now only 12,120 challenges outstanding in the list compared to just three months ago when there were 63,780 pending.

Whilst on paper the VOA enjoyed its most productive period, it was no doubt helped by the Government last year, concerned with approximately 450,000 checks being registered by businesses since the first Lockdown. This led to them announcing it would legislate so that Covid-19 MCC appeals would no longer be considered valid.

A £1.5bn business rates relief fund was set up to mitigate the affected firms but the moving of the goal posts at the 11th hour was deeply unpopular. Despite representations, the legislation came into force in December last year leading to a record number of appeals being struck off overnight – hence the rosier figures now being published by the VOA.