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Helpsheet for NFAN Farm Attraction Members Business Rates – Revaluation 2026

31 May 2024 10:16

Helpsheet for NFAN Farm Attraction Members

Business Rates – Revaluation 2026

Completion of VOA Form of Return (FOR)

Many members will have been receiving from the Valuation Office a form; either a VO6030 or VO6036, to complete and return within a deadline of 56 days, to assist in the VOA’s assessment of the Rateable Value with effect 1st April 2026.

The statutory basis for the Revaluation is that of the ‘physical circumstances’ on the farm attraction property as at 1st April 2026, relating those to economic circumstances (financial) as at 1st April 2024, which is the reason the government are requesting details of your business for this specific year.

• VO6030 – this form is primarily aimed at properties that are occupied under a commercial lease or tenancy arrangement. Hence in Part B there is fairly brief details requested in relation to the trading receipts for the last 3 financial years.

Information requested in Part D relates to a rent/lease/tenancy agreement. It should be noted that where the rent paid is not solely for the ‘farm attraction business’ but for the whole farm, then a best ‘guesstimate’ should be made as to what rent should be attributed to the farm attraction land and property occupied in accordance with the tenancy or lease. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has no legal entitlement to receive with this form copies of financial accounts, management statements or indeed leases or tenancies. Do not provide profit or loss information relating to the farm agricultural business, this is exempt.

• VO6036 – this form is primarily aimed at those properties that have no lease or tenancy agreement. Under Part B there is a significant amount of information requested on the financial position of the farm park business. The VOA have no legal entitlement to receive with the form any financial accounts, management statements or details of your business.

It should be noted that if the financial accounts incorporate ‘Income and Expenditure’ from the farm or any other associated activities such as contracting or commercial lettings these details should not be included in Part B of the form.

It is solely the farm attraction that is being assessed for the Rateable Value. Hence it is very important that within the financial affairs of the business there is a division between ‘in hand farming/contracting’ to that of the ‘farm attraction business’ (the latter information only being required in Part B of the form). In Part D there is a reference to a requirement to include details of rent passing on a Lease or Tenancy agreement.

• It should be noted that in respect of any rent or tenancy agreement that has been set up within the ‘family’ and as such ‘connected parties’ as opposed to ‘arms-length’ with an independent Landlord, this should still be declared in Part D but detail in relation to who is the Landlord does not have to be declared.

• The Rateable Value of the farm attraction property is that of the ‘Market Rent’ as at 1st April 2024 (Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) 1988 schedule 5). Where there is no Tenancy or Lease agreement in place then the equivalent valuation for Rateable Value purposes will be calculated on a full Receipts and Expenditure basis, e.g. the financial affairs of the business, but not on a shortened method, e.g. a percentage of turnover or gross receipts.

• Where the farm attraction operator has completed a previous form in 2021/2019 (VO6030 or VO6036) it is important to be consistent in answering the questions.

• Ensure that the description of the property on the front page is correct ‘Farm Park’ or ‘Farm Attraction’ and note that the address is correct. There may be planning conditions attached to the planning permission such as Seasonal Opening (if connected with a maize maze) or other restricted planning conditions, detail these as they may considerably reduce the Rateable Value and as such the rates to be paid.

• The rates paid is calculated on the ‘multiplier’ (51p in £1) which is assessed on a yearly basis by the government.

• Do ensure that residential properties are not included in the property description on the form because residential properties are subject to ‘Council Tax’ not ‘Business Rates’.

• It should be noted that farm buildings and agricultural land are exempt from Business Rates as long as they are being used solely for agricultural purposes.

• If a farm attraction business’ current Rateable Value is below the threshold, e.g. £12,000 or less, then it would qualify for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR).

• In general, the smaller farm attractions (up to approx. 50k visitors a year) are valued on a basis of £’s per square metre (sqm). The buildings are measured and a price per sqm applied to the restaurant, entrance/exit, shop, playbarn, car park, etc.

Barry Davies BSc(Hons), MRICS, IRRV
Davies & Co., Chartered Surveyors
01536 524808

May 2024

The content of this helpsheet is for information purposes only. Davies & Co accepts no liability for or as the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided