Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, pubs and factories.
Who has to pay?
Business rates are usually paid by the occupier of the non-domestic property. If the property is empty, the owner or leaseholder will be liable.
Further information can be found on pages 35-38 of the Council Tax Information Booklet 2016/17.
How much will I have to pay?
Every non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HMRC, unless it is exempt from rating (for example, churches, farm buildings and buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people).
You can check the rateable value of a property on the VOA’s website.
You can also check if you qualify for any reductions, reliefs or exemptions from your business rates.
We calculate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value of your property against a multiplier, which is set each year by the government. The multiplier indicates the percentage, or pence in the pound, of the rateable value that you will pay in business rates.
There are two multipliers for the financial year 2016/17:
the standard multiplier is 49.7p
the small business multiplier is 48.4p.
A property has a rateable value of £20,000. The rates (not including any exemptions, reductions or relief) would be:
- £20,000 x 0.497 = £9,940
A small business has a rateable value of £12,000. The rates (not including any exemptions, reductions or relief) would be:
- £12,000 x 0.484 - £5,808
Factors such as rate relief, exemptions and reductions may reduce how much you pay.
See the Reductions, Reliefs and Exemptions page for further information.
Do I have to pay business rates if I work from home?
If you work at, or from, home you may have to pay business rates on the area used for business purposes and council tax for the rest of the property.
Valuations and appeals
If you think your rateable value isn’t correct, you can ask the VOA to reassess it. There is no charge to make an appeal.
Details on how to appeal are available on the GOV.UK: Business rates appeals pages.
You can make an appeal online via GOV.UK.
Alternatively you can telephone the VOA on 03000 501501 or write to the local office:
Non-Domestic Rating East
Valuation Office Agency
Roseberry Court, Central Avenue
St Andrews Business Park
If the VOA agrees with your appeal, or if you reach an agreement on another figure, the rateable value will be changed. If an agreement cannot be reached, the dispute can be passed to the Valuation Tribunal.
You must continue to pay your bill even if you have appealed against the rateable value.
All rateable values have been reviewed and yours may have changed as a result. The council has no control over this exercise, which is carried out by the VOA every five years. The last revaluation was postponed for two years by the government and therefore your new rateable value will come into effect from 1 April 2017.
The VOA has published a draft list of rateable values so that you can check and raise any obvious issues. Details are available at www.gov.uk/voa/revaluation.
You must address any issues with your rateable value to the VOA directly.
Further information is available in the VOA's revaluation leaflet.
Change of circumstances
You must let us know of any changes in your circumstances that may affect your business rates liability. Please let us know if:
- you change address
- your property changes from empty to occupied (or vice versa)
- you believe that you are entitled to, or no longer entitled to, relief
- the VOA amends the rateable value of a property outside of our area.
We will re-calculate your liability and send you an amended bill.
You can let us know by using one of the links below or by emailing email@example.com.
How do I report a change of address?
You can report a change of address online:Report Moving Into a Property
Report Moving Out of a Property
or you can download the form and return it to us:Download Form to Report Moving In or Out of a Property