29 Jan 19 by Anna Simpson
Business Rates are a tax placed on properties which are used for commercial or business purposes, they apply to almost all commercial properties and are payable by the occupier (or landlord if the property is empty). They are not set by the landlord and do not change directly based on the rent you are paying.
Rateable Value (RV) – This is the value that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have placed on the premises.
Rates Payable – This is what you actually pay, the RV multiplied by the current Rates Multiplier.
Rates Multiplier – Set by central government each financial year. There are currently two different multipliers, one if the RV is below £51,000 and one if the RV is £51,000 or higher. Check your multiplier here.
Where do I find out how much I have to pay? Visit https://www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates and type in the postcode of the property. When you have found the subject property, you can click through and the Rateable Value will be displayed. You then multiply this figure by the appropriate Rates Multiplier to work out how much you need to pay this year.
Am I eligible for Small Business Rates Relief? Small Business Rates Relief is available on properties with Rateable Values up to £12,000 and means you won’t pay anything. Partial relief is available on properties with RV’s between £12,001 and £15,000 on a sliding scale for 100% to 0%. You may be eligible for the Small Business Rates Relief if this is the only property you occupy, or any other properties have RV’s below £2,900 each. Other relief systems are in place too for charities, rural areas, enterprise zones and you can also apply for hardship relief. Contact your local council to apply for rate relief.
My property is empty, do I have to pay business rates? For the first 3 months when a building is empty you do not have to pay rates (6 months for industrial premises). However, if the property is empty past this point then yes, you will be responsible for paying the rates. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example Listed Buildings do not pay any business rates until they are occupied and neither do properties with rateable values below £2,900.
Can I reduce my empty property holding costs? Yes, Vickery Holman have various Rates Mitigation Schemes they can put in place for you. Contact our rating experts for further information.
I think the Rateable Value is too high, what can I do? You can appeal, contact one of our rating experts to discuss this further.