27 June 2017

King West

Business rates update for 2017

This month, our blog focuses on the changes to business rates and the effect on the rural community. Everything is rateable- either through Council Tax or Business Rates. The long awaited rates review has rocked the foundations of many business buildings.

Business rates — simply put, the commercial equivalent of council tax — are usually reset every ve years, but a delay means that the government is adjusting rates after seven years in this cycle with change effects being back dated 2 years. Non-domestic properties, referred to as “hereditaments”, are business properties such as shops, offices, warehouses and factories and rural business buildings such as riding schools, livery yards, stud farms, car park and livestock markets.

The occupier of a non-domestic property is liable to pay business rates on any rateable property unless it is exempt or a relief applies, for example; a Small Business Relief. If a property is empty, the owner or leaseholder will still be liable to pay rates unless there is an appropriate exemption.

Business rates, assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), are based on the market rental value of a property at the time of the review. All businesses with one or more properties with a rateable value above £12,000 will be charged business rates. Rates are calculated using the rateable value multiplied by the appropriate multiplier.

At this latest review, it was reported that rates would fall for 920,000 businesses, remain the same for another 420,000, but will increase for 510,000 businesses. Rural enterprises are among the biggest losers in the most radical reform of business rates for a generation, which came into force in April 2017.

If your business buildings are not presently viewed as rateable there are several possible reasons for this. For example; the VOA do not know about the building, the VOA know about the building and have yet to take action, or the VOA have deemed the building exempt.

All rateable values are open to appeal. You can start this process through the GOV.UK website. Appeals are, however, taking significant time to be heard by the VOA. If you feel your hereditaments require checking or challenging in terms of rateable value, you will be required to go online and complete a number of time-bound actions. However, you are able to appoint an agent to act upon your behalf.

Conversely, if you are not presently paying Business Rates but are found to require to do so, your business is likely to be back-charged the rates for as far as 2010.

If you should require support in the understanding of rating levels, changes to your rateable values or to check, challenge or appeal your rateable value, in the first instance, please contact Harry Epsom on at the King West Market Harborough office or call on 01858 411538. 

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