Business rates FAQs

Annual billing

Multipliers

Multipliers are set by Central Government and for 2017/18 are:

£0.466 Small Business Rate Multiplier for properties with rateable values below £51,000 and £0.479 National Non-Domestic Multiplier for properties with rateable values of £51,000 and above.

NB: Please note that properties with a rateable value of up to and including £50,999 that are empty and subject to empty rates are calculated using the higher multiplier.

Rate relief

If your rateable value is £12,000 to £15,000 you qualify for Small Business Rate Relief you can contact the business rates team for information on how your Small Business Rate Relief has been calculated. If you qualify and your rateable value is up to and including £12,000 then may be eligible for 100% relief.

Retail Relief was a temporary measure that does not apply after 1 April 2016.

Rateable value

The Valuation Office Agency set rateable values. You can email the VOA or phone them on 03000 501 501 to query your rateable value. Whilst they are investigating an appeal you must continue to pay at the level you have been billed.
Please note that all rateable values on business premises have been reviewed and new values come into force on 1 April 2017.

Business Rates calculation

Every business property has a rateable value, set by the Valuation Office Agency. The value reflects the annual rent the property would achieve on the open market at a set date.

Every year the Government sets the multiplier - or the percentage of the rateable value you have to pay in tax. For the current financial year, this is 0.466 for properties with a rateable value of up to £50,999 and 0.479 for properties valued at £51,000 or above.

So, if your property has a rateable value of £10,000, you will pay 0.466 (£4,660) in rates. For a £60,000 property you would pay 0.479 (£28,740).

Find the rateable value of your business.

Transitional adjustments

From 1 April 2017 transitional arrangements will come into force for any large increases or decreases in rates payable which are due to rateable value changes.

The scheme from the 1 April 2017 applies three different kinds of percentage for Small, Medium and Large Properties and these are for 2017/18:

  • Small Property RV £0 to £20,000 total % increase 7.1%; decrease 18.4% 
  • Medium Property RV £20,001 to £100,000 total % increase 14.75; decrease 8.2%
  • Large Property RV £100,001 and above total % increase 44.84%; decrease 2.182%

Please note that these figures include an inflation increase of 2%.

How to pay Business Rates

The safest, simplest and easiest way to pay is by Direct Debit. 

You can set up a Direct Debit here. You will need your Business account reference number (on your bill), your bank account number and sort code. You can choose to pay on either the 1st or 15th of each month.

You will also need to confirm that:

  • You are the named account holder of the account to be debited.
  • No other signature apart from yours is required to authorise the setting up of Direct Debits on this account

If you cannot confirm this you can still set up a Direct Debit instruction using our pdf icon Direct Debit form [93kb].

Your Direct Debit will continue to run until you cancel it - there is no need to renew each year.

Other ways to pay

You can also pay your Business Rates:

Working from home or living above your place of work

If a property is used for both domestic and non-domestic purposes, we charge Council Tax and Business Rates. If you work from home, we may charge Business Rates for the part of the property you use for work. You will still have to pay Council Tax on the rest of the property. Please contact the Valuation Office Agency on 03000 501 501 or ratingsoutheast@voa.gsi.gov.uk for further information.

Change of business address

You should let us know as soon as possible by filling out our change of address online form.

Business Rates reductions and exemptions

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for reduced rates or exemption from rates.

Exemptions

The following are exempt from Business Rates:

  • Agricultural land and buildings
  • Fish farms
  • Churches and places of worship
  • Sewers
  • Public parks
  • Properties used for disabled people
  • Moorings for boats.

Reduced rates

Reduced rates could apply if:

  • The property is empty or unused (exemption is granted for three months or six months if industrial)
  • The property is occupied by a charity or non-profit organisation
  • The property is partially occupied
  • Hardship would occur if rates were not reduced.

If you think your rateable value is wrong or that your property should be exempt, download an appeal form from the Valuation Office Agency website. You must keep up with payments while your appeal is ongoing.

Failure to pay Business Rates

If you miss a payment or pay late, we will send you a reminder giving you seven days to pay. If you do not pay the first reminder on time, you will be issued a Magistrate Court Summons.

If your account is brought up to date in time but you pay late again or miss a second payment, we will issue a final notice and you will lose your right to pay by instalments. If you do not pay the total sum due within seven days you will be issued a Magistrates Court Summons. 

Once a Magistrates Court Summons is issued this will incur costs to your account. If the total amount due including these costs is not paid before the court date, a Liability Order will be obtained against you adding further costs. We may then send your account to our Enforcement Agents for collection or proceed with Bankruptcy or Liquidation Proceedings. 

Publication of Business Rates data

We publish Business Rates reports here.

Get in touch

Contact the business rates team or ring the call centre on 0118 937 3727.

 

Switch To Normal Mode