As part of the Scottish Government's commitment to Land Reform and the reintroduction of non-domestic rates on shooting and deer forests, the Return of Information Forms for the assessors have begun to be sent out to land owners and occupiers.
The process is likely to be complicated comes with a degree of uncertainty on the actual charges levied, if any. The then Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Aileen Macleod, gave a commitment to engage with the shooting sector once the emerging valuations are known, ahead of making ratings decisions in 2017. The Scottish Countryside Alliance will ensure that the concerns of our members and those others with sporting rights are addressed at this time.
However, the assessors have a duty to establish the hypothetical Net Annual Value of the rights. As almost all non-developed land will have a sporting right, it also has a value attached to it whether shot over or not.
The hypothetical Net Annual Value is the projected amount that somebody would pay to have those rights for a year minus any costs which the landlord bears to maintain the shootings in a state to command that rent such as maintenance of woods, roads, fences, bothies etc.
Small Business Bonus is available to business with a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less. If the total rateable value is below £10,000 100% relief applies.
At the time that the Bill was enacted the Scottish Government indicated that the scheme would continue following the revaluation and that the scheme would be expanded and would apply to shootings.
The Scottish Countryside Alliance is calling for all recipients to complete these forms as accurately as possible, within the time limit. The fuller understanding of the valuation of shooting will stand us in good stead once the discussions begin regarding taxation. Any questions or further information about the reintroduction of the sporting rates and/or these forms please get in touch.