Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by the local authority are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area.
Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of HM Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain all rateable values and compile them into a rating list, the national non-domestic rating list is available to be viewed on their website at www.voa.gov.uk
The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the 2010 revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008. For the 2017 revaluation on 1 April 2017, this date was set as 1 April 2015.
The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the VOA website or from your local valuation office. Please find their contact information below:
Telephone: 03000 501501
Fax: 03000 505246
Non-domestic Rates South West
Valuation Office Agency
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Revaluation 2017 and transitional arrangements
All rateable values are generally reassessed every five years, the revaluation is completed to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market.
The government has confirmed that the next revaluation has been postponed until 1 April 2017, the revaluation was originally due to happen in 2015. The postponement will provide greater stability for businesses to encourage economic growth. Five yearly revaluations will continue from 2017. Please visit www.gov.uk/voa/revalution for more information about your draft 2017 rateable value. Revaluation does not raise extra money for government. The government’s Written Ministerial Statement on the postponement can be found here.
For the minority of ratepayers who will be facing a significant increases in their rates liability, the government has put in place a £3.4 billion transitional relief scheme to phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The transitional arrangements will support ratepayers by allowing them time to adjust to their new business rates bills. Those ratepayers facing increases (who will be in sectors and locations where rateable values have increased more than the average) will see their bill capped each year at a set percentage increase due to the revaluation. Those businesses will be able to plan for their future business rates bills.
The Government ensured, (as far as is practicable), that the transitional arrangements are self-funding and that neither the government nor ratepayers overall are financially disadvantaged as a result of the scheme. The cost of the relief for those ratepayers facing increases must be funded from other ratepayers. For 2017, the Government will fund the transitional arrangements by also limiting annual reductions in bills due to the revaluation. This will replicate the system for funding the scheme adopted at every revaluation since 1990.
The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill.
National non-domestic rating multiplier
The local authority calculates the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rates relief. The government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation. Generally, the multipliers increase in line with inflation according to the Retail Price Index in September of the preceding year.
The 2017 multiplier has reduced to ensure the revaluation does not raise any more rates. The small business non-domestic multiplier has reduced from 48.4p to 46.6p. The nation non-domestic multiplier has reduced from 49.7p to 47.9p.
Business rates instalments
Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10 monthly cycle April to January. However, the government legislated in 2014/15 that businesses can request their business rate bills to be spread over 12 months to help with cash flow. If you wish to change your instalment plan to 12 monthly instalments, please contact the business rates team on 01454 86 77 00 or email email@example.com.
Avoid losing your bill or missing post! For your piece of mind we can now email rate demand notices instead of posting them. If you wish to have your bill safely and securely emailed to you please contact the business rates team on 01454 86 77 00 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS – website www.rics.org ) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV – website www.irrv.net )are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating advisor, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
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