Search site

Business rates

Who pays business rates

Calculation of the rates bill

Changes in rateable value

Transitional arrangements

Further information

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories.

Who pays business rates

Rates are usually paid by the occupier of the property. If the property is unoccupied then the owner or leaseholder will usually have to pay empty rates. Empty rates may be charged at a reduced rate. See reductions and exemptions.

Calculation of the rates bill

Your annual business rates bill is calculated and collected by the council.

We multiply the rateable value of an individual property, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency by a multiplier (the national non-domestic multiplier) set by central government. It is set for the whole of England and is effective from 1 April each year. The multiplier represents the number of pence in each pound of the rateable value that will be payable in business rates before any relief or discounts are applied. The calculation gives the amount of rates payable for the year.

The government reviews the multiplier each year to reflect changes in inflation. By law, the multiplier cannot increase or decrease by more than the rate of inflation, except in the year of a revaluation. In that year it is set at a level which will keep the total amount raised in rates after the revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year. There is a revaluation every five years - the last one was in April 2010.

Changes in the rateable value

When a property is revalued there is a right of appeal. From the last revaluation in April 2010, if an appeal was successful the old rateable value was replaced by a new one. The result would mean the bill was recalculated. If the bill had transitional relief it could be that the change in rateable value made no difference to the bill until a later year.

The rateable value may change if any physical changes are made to your property, for example, building or demolishing an extension. Therefore such changes must be reported to us immediately. As owner, or ratepayer, you also have the right to appeal to the Valuation Office Agency against the rateable value of your property, if you believe it is incorrect.

Transitional arrangements

Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effect of these changes by limiting increases in bills.

To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.

Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation.

If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2010, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Any transitional adjustments are shown on the front of the bill.

Further information

Contact us Contact us

Powered by GOSS iCM