Commercial Business Rates

Business rates are a local tax paid by occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, and are now a major expenditure for businesses of all sizes.
 
Wilbys have extensive experience in advising clients regarding their Business Rate Liability, and where necessary, lodging formal appeals against the Rateable Value with the Valuation Office Agency.
 
The present Valuation List came into force in April 2010, and is based on values prevailing as at April 2008.
 
The Rateable Value of all commercial and industrial property is reviewed on a 5 yearly basis, with the next List due to be published in April 2015. The Rateable Value of a property represents the hypothethical rental value of a property as at the relevant date of the assessment, and is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
 
The rates paid by businesses are calculated by multiplying the rateable value set by the VOA by a multiplier (Uniform Business Rate) set by Central Government. The multiplier represents a number in terms of pence per pound of rateable value, before any reliefs or discounts are applied. Various reliefs are available, details of which Wilbys can advise clients on.
 
Ratepayers are advised not to submit an appeal without taking prior professional advice, due to the fact that in some cases rateable values may be under assessed, and in such circumstances, the VOA may serve a Notice to increase the assessment.
 
Ratepayers are also recommended to establish that before instructing a firm to act on their behalf in submitting an appeal that they check that the firm are reputable. In this respect, ideally the agent should be a member of one of the main three representative bodies – The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Institute of Revenues Rating Valuation or the Rating Surveyors Association. Clients are specifically recommended to be wary of any person or company who comes ‘cold calling’: anyone who wants payment for their services in advance; and anyone who requests payment for lodging an appeal. Similarly companies who make promises to reduce your rateable value without knowing the details of your property should be avoided.
 
For further information on Business Rate liability please contact Barry Seal on (01226 299221). email bs@wilbys.net.