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Non-Domestic Rates: Ports

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the Valuation Office Agency in relation to the issuing of backdated business tax bills for businesses in statutory ports in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. (255841)

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible solely for the assessment of business properties for rating, not for billing and collection matters and the date from which changes to rating lists take effect is prescribed by regulation.

The VOA has recognised that, in the exercise of re-assessing rateable values within ports, it should have done more to inform businesses of developments. In common with other executive agencies, the performance of the agency is reviewed on a regular basis. A planned three-yearly review of the framework within which it operates is currently under way and will report by 31 May 2009. Full details can be found at

www.hmrc.gov.uk.