Helping you minimise business rates

Although the Valuation Office Agency sets your business rates, mistakes are made, and we may be able to minimise your liability by pointing out any errors to the VOA, especially immediately following a revaluation such as the upcoming 2017 Rating Revaluation on April 1st 2017.

There are plenty of different reasons why the rateable value of your property may be wrong, and it’s worth remembering that for the 2017 Rating Revaluation, the antecedent valuation date or AVD is April 1st 2015, meaning your business rates should reflect the value of the property on that date.

Common causes for objections can include:

  • Rating List Appeals: Value per square metre, total floor area, properties that have merged or split etc.
  • Material Changes: Change of use, physical alterations, new developments and roads, adjacent building works.
  • Reliefs: Empty properties, small business rate relief, charitable relief, under-used space and so on.
  • Historic Auditing: Taking into account past overpayment, unclaimed relief, billing errors, legislation changes and other past credits.

As you might imagine, it is not always easy to claim an ongoing reduction in business rates, so make sure you start the process with a well-informed strategy backed by experts.

Know your commercial property

One of the best first steps you can take is simply to make sure you know your own commercial property comprehensively, so that we can help you to identify any possible ways to minimise business rates.

If part of the premises are not being used, have been permanently boarded up or are not occupied due to flood damage or other similar reasons, make sure your valuation takes this into account.

Where changes have occurred since April 1st 2015, they may not be included as standard in the 2017 Rating Revaluation, but there may be other ways to claim relief or to have them taken into account by the VOA.

Our team can help you to submit formal appeals and challenges, as well as helping you to understand what you should continue paying in the meantime – and avoid incurring any extra penalties for failing to pay your business rates at the current prevailing rateable value.

Remember that if you are successful in having your rateable value revised downwards, any overpayments you have made should be converted into future credits, so it’s important to keep meeting your business rates payments in the meantime.

Always look down…

One last word of warning – if material changes to your commercial property have arguably increased its value, you could find your business rates increase as a result.

By working closely with our experts, we can help to make sure this does not happen, by focusing your appeal on a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which your commercial property’s rateable value has fallen since the last Rating Revaluation.

We can also help you to prepare submissions under the Check, Challenge, Appeal regime, which is also due to change on April 1st 2017, so even if you have used it in the past, it’s worth speaking to us informally about the new rules.

Call us freephone on 08000 710 014 to speak to our team informally and without obligation about minimising business rates and submitting checks, challenges and appeals following the 2017 Rating Revaluation.