Rateable Values are designed to be an accurate indication of your yearly rent, but quite often they are wrong. To prove that your Rateable Value is wrong generally requires a Check, Challenge or Appeal to be lodged with the Valuation Office Agency (VoA) using their Business Rates Appeals service.
What are business rates?
All UK firms pay a tax on the shops, offices, warehouses and factories that they use. Rates are the third biggest outgoing for many small businesses after rent and staff costs. Business rates are based on the value of the real estate but also take into account things like the value of machinery and equipment as well as the sector in which the business is operating.
How are they calculated?
Every five years the underlying value of properties is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VoA) to determine their 'rateable value'. That figure broadly represents the yearly rent - the rentable value - for which the property could be let. But the underlying values that are used are always from two years previously. So when the rates were set in 2010 they were based on values in 2008. More recently the 2017 rates were based on 2015 values.
How much is paid?
The rateable value is then combined with the 'multiplier' - a figure set by the government each year - to determine the final bill. Crucially the multiplier will be set to ensure that the total amount collected in business rates remains the same, making it 'revenue neutral'.
Every year we pursue many business rates appeals nationwide on behalf of our clients to ensure that their rates bills are kept to the lowest possible level and historic refunds secured wherever possible. We will always check your valuation and rates bills before recommending whether you should proceed further with a challenge. If your rates are fair then we will tell you so at this stage and for free.
To check if your Rateable Value is correct, call us on 0117 3700624 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our Business Rates Appeals Service.