There are currently in the region of 250,000 Business rate appeals in process throughout the country, which gives an idea of the amount of dissatisfaction within the Business Community. Business rates are a tax and do not go to your Local Authority. They simply collect the money and pass it on to Central Government. It is therefore pointless to complain to the Local Authority if it is felt the Rating Assessment is wrong.
BUSINESS RATES (Otherwise called Non-Domestic Business Rates or NDBR)
Local Business Rateable Values are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is a section of HM Revenue and Customs. Business Rates are a Tax! Based on the actual, or perceived, annual rental for the premises in question. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for ascertaining rental values and they have a duty to be fair and accurate. They are not responsible for collecting the money. This duty falls to the Local Authority. The VOA will advise them of the Rateable Value (R/V) and they will apply the Multiplier for the current year. That is to say, if the R/V is £20,000 and for this year the Multiplier is 47 pence in the pound, then the amount payable is £20,000 X 47pence per £1 = £9400 payable, which equates to £940 per month for 10 Months. The Local Authority are simply collectors.
Rateable Values are set for 5 years and currently we are in the 2010-2015 period. Currently, R/V’s for the 2015-2020 period are being calculated. Commercial Rents have been declining since the 2008 crash. Unfortunately, the crash occurred during August/September of that year, when the VOA rental “Snapshot” was based on rents as at April, 2008 and whilst rents were still increasing. It was this snapshot that was used for the 2010 R/V calculations. The rest is history. For the next period the Snapshot date was April 1st, 2013.
So why do your “Rates” go up each year? This is because the Chancellor increases the multiplier each year whilst leaving the Rateable Value alone.
We have a great track record for appealing rateable values and have saved local businesses many thousands of pounds over the last 4 years.
Put simply, the VOA are well capable of getting it wrong! Whilst diligent and conscientious, frequently their information is simply wrong. Drawings and calculations are out of date, buildings get altered, joined together, enlarged and adapted. They do not have the resources to keep up to date.
If you feel you are paying too much, contact us. We will visit your premises, our surveyor will measure them and make plan drawings, identifying varying differing areas of use. These will be compared with the information that the VOA have on file for your property(ies) and we assess whether or not an appeal is viable. Either way, we will advise accordingly and give our reasons. We will then make the appeal as your agents ( called a Proposal to Amend the Rating List) and follow it through to completion by personally negotiating your case with the VOA assessing officer. Whilst a lot of assessments are too high, sometimes the opposite is true.