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The South West Specialists

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A rough guide to “Business Rates”


Business Rates is the commonly used term for a tax on the occupation of non-domestic property. The Government given name for this is National Non-Domestic Rates

Every commercial premises is valued by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and provided with a Rateable Value (RV). This is the amount equal to the rent at which it is estimated the premises might reasonably be expected to let from year to year, assuming the property is in a reasonable state of repair.

For office, retail and industrial premises there is generally plenty of rental evidence to determine where the RV should be, for many other commercial property types such as hotels, caravan parks, holiday cottages, Local Authority leisure centres and many more, other valuation approaches are undertaken to arrive at the hypothetical rent/RV. Hotels for example are valued having regard to the turnover and profitability of the premises.

Since 1990 all non-domestic premises have been revalued every five years, except for 2015, which was postponed by two years until 2017. It was delayed as the Government hoped it would provide a greater degree of certainty for businesses on their ongoing rates liability as they come out of the recession. Each revaluation is based on a Valuation Date set two years prior, so for the 2017 revaluation, 1st April 2015 will be the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD.)

The local Council as the billing authority is responsible for issuing bills to ratepayers, which they do based on the RV provided to them by the VOA. A Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is set annually by the Government which allows for inflation and it is this multiplied by the RV, which is the basis for your rates liability.

The Council are able to reduce the liability further by incorporating various reliefs which may be for small or rural businesses, high street retail and community sports clubs, amongst others.

With a specialist Business Rates Department, Vickery Holman have expertise to assist commercial rates bill payers reduce their liability. Contact your local office for your free half hour consultation with one of our experts.

Diary Dates
2017 Revaluation
March 2015 onwards
Valuation Office Agency (VOA) issuing Forms of Return to all ratepayers seeking confirmation of rents paid and accounting information (for certain property types).

May 2016
VOA scheduled completion of revaluation of all properties.

1st October 2016
Draft 2017 Rating List available to view online.

Feb/ March 2017
Billing authorities will issue business rates bill for 2017/18 financial year.

1st April 2017
2017 Rating List goes live. Appeals can be submitted.