Sporting Rates in Scotland-clarification needed

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
Can anyone explain to me how the reintroduction of Sporting Rates actually works?

I recently lost a good wee permission due to the farmer flapping about it, and his explanation was garbled to say the least. It was a 160 acre mixed arable, moor, and pasture farm that I had an informal agreement on (I shot the deer, pigeon, pheasant, and vermin in exchange for his mole control). His view now is that anyone shooting the land for whatever reason will mean he'd be subject to the £5.00 per hectare 'mixed-ground' rate. My understanding was that this came into being last April, so he should've been well up-to-date on the exact requirements by now. And given that he doesn't actually run a formal shoot, or have anything that can be classed as a 'deer forest or moor' he wouldn't be paying it anyway?

Any clarification would be much-appreciated.
 

Chanty Wrassler

Well-Known Member
The liability applies, whether or not anyone shoots. The actual amount due to be paid (by the farmer, or if he rents out the sporting rights by the tenant) is the rateable value, derived from the area and nature of the ground, multiplied by the uniform business rate of 40 something pence per pound, so approx. £120 per annum in your example. If that's the only parcel of ground the tenant has then 100% relief applies so no charge. Bit simplified, but that's the bare bones of it.
 

Dan Newcombe

Well-Known Member
Firstly, depending on the actual land use he should look at appealing his assessment because it is unlikely that the ground is actually mixed use. Majority improved grass is where you want to be £3.50/ha.

As CW says above, he is mistaking his ratable value for the amount that he is liable for, the actual bill will be about 0.48p/£ so about £155.

Theoretically, when this all came in the plan was that the sporting potential of the ground was all that mattered ie. every single bit of land has a sporting potential regardless of size location etc. They soon found that this was not really workable and applied a per hectare rate depending on the land use but again theoretically on the premise that even if you have never shot on the land you own and are categorically against any sporting activity on your land (think LACS owning land) then you will still be liable for sporting rates. Have a look at Practice Note 35 - Sporting Rates on the internet for information. However, when the RSPB, NTS, FC etc found that they would be liable they have changed the goal posts and introduced an unoccupied property element which comes into effect if there is no commercial sporting use undertaken. definition of commercial is still unclear but the approach that we are taking is that if you don't actively sell the sporting rights (think Betws Hall) so we are saying that a family only shoot, no sold days is not commercial. This might be wrong and is to be argued in appeal but from the letter of the law this is where we stand.

This basically changes everything and means a lot of shoots / Estates will actually swerve it.

You can also apply for Small Business relief as long as your ratable value is under £15,000. The problem with this is that it might well be revoked in a similar way to the fishing assessments.

To be fair we are doing a lot of work on this at the moment and appealing most applications so are pretty well up to date but we still are fumbling about a bit so your average land owner is unlikely to be up to speed.

Give me a shout if you want more information. I would advise that if he cannot get the relief he lets you carry on and you take on the liability (and then claim SBRR) and it you dont qualify then get your wife of someone who will qualify to take the lease and get the relief. Essentially, if he has someone or not, he will have had demands for the rates and if he hasnt applied for relief he will have meant to have paid them - its only £155 after all.

Cheers
 
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Willie

Well-Known Member
I am a member of a syndicate on FC land in Scotland. I have yet to hear anything about sporting rates should I be concerned or are they still processing assessments?
Willie
 

Dan Newcombe

Well-Known Member
If you haven't heard anything i would probably keep quiet because they are making a pretty thorough hash of it right now identifying the people who should be getting the bills.

If it is a syndicate it is unlikely that you will exceed the £15,000 SBRR threshold so the captain has likely applied for that on the behalf of the syndicate and nothing more needs to be done.
 

Ranger123

New Member
It was explained to me that if your rateable value on your letter is under £15000 then your exempt under small business exemptions. Not 100% sure if that's entirely correct but it's how the people in the office explained it to me
 

NOTSHARP

Well-Known Member
I had the Bill(s) for my ground, drop through the letterbox this morning.

April 17-March 18 - to be paid, in full, by 30/09
April 18-March 19 - payment by 5 installments, first one due 21/10/18

The rateable value is well below the £15 k threshold, and a form was enclosed to apply for Small Business Bonus Scheme, which should allow 100% relief. I have five days to return the form.


However, it would seem that the bills have to be paid, regardless of exemption being applied for. How long it may be before payment would be refunded, I have no idea, as yet.





Steve.
 

Edinburgh Rifles

Well-Known Member
I had the Bill(s) for my ground, drop through the letterbox this morning.

April 17-March 18 - to be paid, in full, by 30/09
April 18-March 19 - payment by 5 installments, first one due 21/10/18

The rateable value is well below the £15 k threshold, and a form was enclosed to apply for Small Business Bonus Scheme, which should allow 100% relief. I have five days to return the form.


However, it would seem that the bills have to be paid, regardless of exemption being applied for. How long it may be before payment would be refunded, I have no idea, as yet.





Steve.

I do
I do
I do!

as long as they feel like
9m as an example

don't pay.
send the application in
 

NOTSHARP

Well-Known Member
I do
I do
I do!

as long as they feel like
9m as an example

don't pay.
send the application in


I have just spoken with the Business Rates Dept. and they confirm that, as long as the application for relief has been completed and returned to them, the bill(s) do not need to be paid.

When they decide if the exemption is to apply, they will re-issue the bills - hopefully showing that no charge is due.





Steve.
 

Enfia

Well-Known Member
I had the Bill(s) for my ground, drop through the letterbox this morning.

April 17-March 18 - to be paid, in full, by 30/09
April 18-March 19 - payment by 5 installments, first one due 21/10/18

The rateable value is well below the £15 k threshold, and a form was enclosed to apply for Small Business Bonus Scheme, which should allow 100% relief. I have five days to return the form.


However, it would seem that the bills have to be paid, regardless of exemption being applied for. How long it may be before payment would be refunded, I have no idea, as yet.





Steve.

Steve, the rates will NOT have to be paid if the total value of your estates (land owned, leased etc) is low enough to qualify you for the small business bonus scheme.
 

NOTSHARP

Well-Known Member
Steve, the rates will NOT have to be paid if the total value of your estates (land owned, leased etc) is low enough to qualify you for the small business bonus scheme.

Yes, I do realise that.

As a matter of interest, I have also submitted an application form Vacant Relief (shootings).




Steve.
 
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