Business Rates - General Information
Business Rates are payable on most non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, factories, warehouses, public houses, restaurants, and stables. The person or company benefiting from a property normally pays the Business Rates. This is usually the owner-occupier or leaseholder.
Important: The 2017/18 Business Rates bills were issued prior to the Budget announcement on Wednesday 8 March 2017. The Government have announced additional support for businesses facing large increases following the 2017 Revaluation.
Every pub with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a discount of £1000 in 2017.
Small businesses set to lose rate relief following the 2017 revaluation will see increases capped at £50 per month.
Additional funding to be made available to local authorities to assist those businesses worst affected by the revaluation.
We are awaiting further clarification of these schemes and are currently working hard to identify those concerned. We will be writing to those who could be affected by these changes in due course.
From 2017/18 it is no longer a legal requirement for Local Authorities to issue Explanatory Notes with Business Rates bills. The 2017/18 Explanatory Notes can be viewed online [115kb], alternatively hard copies can be made available by contacting us on 01775 761161, selecting option four, followed by option two.
Calculating Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates)
Every rated property has a Rateable Value (RV). Each year the Government sets a fixed amount to be used in calculating Business Rates. This is known as the multiplier. Your bill is calculated by multiplying the RV of a property by the multiplier.
Rateable Value (RV)
The rateable value is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which is an agency of HM Revenues and Customs.
The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could be let for on the open market on a particular date. The rateable value may also alter if the circumstances of the property have changed.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties, usually every five years. This is called Revaluation. This is done to maintain fairness in the system, by redistributing the total amount of business rates payable nationally, reflecting the changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.
From 1 April 2017, the rateable values are based on a valuation date of 1 April 2015.
You can find and review your rateable value. If you believe your 2017 rateable value is incorrect, from 1 April 2017 you will need to:
- CHECK - review and confirm the facts about your property held by the VOA
- CHALLENGE - once the facts are established, explain why you believe your valuation is wrong.
You cannot appeal your 2017 rateable value until you have completed CHECK and CHALLENGE.
You must pay in accordance with your business rates bill until the check, challenge, appeal process is completed. If successful, a revised bill will be produced to confirm any changes made to the business rates account.
The Government sets two multipliers every year - the standard multiplier and one for small businesses.
For those with significant increases or decreases in their business rates liability, as a result of the 2017 revaluation, the Government has put in place a £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in business rates bills. To help pay for the limits on bill increases, there also have to be limits on reductions. Under the transitional scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value x the appropriate multiplier).
The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. For further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01775 761161, selecting option four, followed by option two.
Business Rates Assurance
We administer and collect Business Rates and are engaged in assurance activities to promote fairness and equity in the Business Rates system. In recognition of this, the Government has awarded additional funding to support us with this work. We are keen to ensure that all business premises are captured in the Local Rating List and that the rateable values are correct and reflect any changes made since the last assessment. You can check if premises are rated. If you run, or are aware of, a business that may not be rated (or if you think that the assessment is out of date), please inform us on 01775 761161, select option four, followed by option two without delay. All information supplied will be treated in confidence.
It is important that owners, tenants and occupiers of premises keep us informed of any changes that could affect the rates bill (for example, changes in occupation status, liable party, exemptions and rate relief entitlements). Please help us to keep our records up to date by contacting us straight away.
Depending on the type of property, usually either Council Tax or Business Rates will be payable - some may pay both. Generally, Business Rates do not have to be paid for minor business use of the home. Where part of the home is used for one of the reasons below then Business Rates are likely to apply:
- used exclusively for business purposes
- has been adapted for business use
- where clients visit the premises
- where you employ people to work from there
Lots of small businesses can currently get rate relief of up to 100 percent of the bill leaving nothing to pay - although they should still be rated to avoid any allegation of attempted local tax avoidance. Check if your premises are rated.
It is important that owners, tenants and occupiers of premises keep us informed of any changes that could affect the rates bill (for example, changes in occupation status, liable party, exemptions and rate relief entitlements). Please help us to keep our records up to date by contacting us at the earliest opportunity.