The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has opened an online consultation, offering the public a rare opportunity to have their say on the workings of the government body. The consultation focuses on what information should be shared about business rates, what is needed to judge if a valuation is accurate and fair, and what is considered sensitive data.

Clare Whitfield, Head of Surveying and Operations at RVA Surveyors, commented on the current system: “The lack of ability to communicate with a VOA caseworker directly from the outset means that no support and guidance from the VOA is given until someone has begun their case.”

The current system has put pressure on businesses, with many feeling the strain of inflation and seeing increases through the rating list, regardless of certain reliefs. The consultation provides a chance to discuss a possible reform or more frequent valuations of the tax system.

However, for the thousands of businesses that have had to close their doors for good, it may be too late for any positive changes. The consultation closes on 7th June, and the public are encouraged to have their voices heard.