Could you be due a reduction in your Business Rates?

The matter of Business Rates is something that came up in the 2014 Budget and it is a common concern of many commercial business owners. With rates at a high level and becoming a significant outlay each month, wouldn’t you mind paying a little less? Or, at least knowing that the amount you are paying is correct for your premises?

Could you be due a reduction in your Business Rates?

Business owners often just pay their Business Rates without so much as reviewing the invoice. With a few simple checks it could be possible to determine if you are paying too much and ensure you are maximising the reliefs available.

Relief for small businesses

If your business premises fall into one of these categories in terms of its Rateable Value (RV) you will be eligible for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR). 1) RV under £6,000 – Business Rates will be reduced to zero 2) RV between £6,001 and £12,000 – Business Rates will be reduced by between 1% and 50% This relief is not issued automatically though. You will actually need to apply to the council for the reduction. However, currently you can back date claims to 2010 so that could work in your favour if you have been slow off the mark!

Do you have the correct RV?

The next step in ensuring you are not paying excessively high Business Rates is to check your RV. The first part of the process is to check the Valuation Office’s database, here: https://www.2010.voa.gov.uk/rli/

Double check the information now to your Annual Rates Statement to ensure it is correct.

Points to factor:
  • Is your property described accurately? For example, do you trade from an office or a shop? This could make a difference if misrepresented.
  • Measure your floor space to ensure it is accurate. Again, if this is not based on actual facts and figures it could make a difference to your RV.
  • What are the RV’s of premises in your neighbourhood? Use this as a means to compare and contrast. There are sometimes reasons why a similar property could be rated differently but look for large fluctuations as this could give hints to errors with your own RV.
  • Broad calculations suggest that Business Rates are between 45p and 47p per £1 of your property’s RV. Do the maths and see if it stacks up.

Appealing for a reduction

If you believe that you may be due a reduction in your Business Rates then you can appeal to the council. Alternatively, you can pay a professional “rating specialist” to take care of the matter for you. One thing to note is that an appeal could encourage the council to carry out a full inspection, which on occasion does end up with an increase in the RV and therefore Business Rates, rather than the desired reduction. Just be careful to investigate suitably yourself before you escalate the matter. To speak with a qualified accountant regarding your Business Rates, call the Figurit team today on: 020 7376 9333