What are business rates?

Business rates or non-domestic rates, is a tax on the occupation of a non-domestic property. Properties are assessed in a rating list which is given a rateable value based upon the annual rent from a certain date. This is determined based on details for similar properties within the area. Each ratepayer may lodge only one appeal against rateable value set at the start of the rating period so it is important you are confident in the company you instruct.

Businessman drawing rising arrows

How long will the appeal process take?

On average, the appeal process can take between 6 and 12 months to finalise, although this can vary depending on which Valuation Office Agency (VOA) we are dealing with.

What is a start and target date?

The calendar date on which the VOA have confirmed they are willing to begin negotiations with one of our surveyors. The VOA also provides a target date for when they hope to reach a settlement on the appeal. However the target date is only a guideline because there may be unforeseen obstacles. In this instance the case will be referred to your local Valuation Tribunal.

What is a valuation tribunal?

The Valuation Tribunal is made up of a judicial statutory body - the Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE) - and an administrative statutory body - the Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS). It deals with appeals of non-domestic (business) rates. This is where your case is referred to if our surveyors and the VOA cannot reach an agreement.

When will the next revaluation be?

At revaluation, the government adjusts the value of business rates to reflect changes in the property market.

It usually happens every 5 years. The most recent revaluation came into effect in England and Wales on 1 April 2010, based on rateable values from 1 April 2008.

The next revaluations will be in 2017 in England, Scotland and Wales. There’s no date set for Northern Ireland.

What happens at a revaluation?

At revaluation all properties are given a new rateable value and the multipliers (poundages in Scotland) are revised. This means that a change in your rateable value doesn’t always mean a change in your bill.

To make sure your valuations are accurate, you may need to give the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) or your assessor up-to-date rental evidence for your property at revaluation

How are rates calculated?

In England and Wales business rates are worked out based on your property’s ‘rateable value’.

You can estimate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value by the correct ‘multiplier’ (an amount set by central government). Your bill will be reduced if your property’s eligible for business rates relief.