Let us begin by defining what business rates are. Business rates are taxes imposed by the government on commercial properties. They are also known as non-domestic rates. It is how business and commercial establishments contribute to the cost of services of a locality, such as street lighting, road works and education. Business rates are the counterpart of council tax, which is the tax on domestic properties. Even if the property is not used to engage in business or for domestic purposes, it is still subject to business rates.
The rateable value is the evaluation of a business property’s annual rent. The Valuation Office Agency or VOA evaluates it. Business rates vary. To compute the business rate that a business has to pay the government, they multiply the rateable value by the business rates multiplier set forth by the government.
It is crucial to arrive at the minimum rateable value to save on taxes that a business property owner or tenant has to pay. Business rates management is the management of a business property by a qualified manager to help business property owners as well as tenants to have an advantage over taxes that the government will require them to pay for the exercise of their venture.
The government sets the business rates multipliers. It is the number of pence per pound of the rateable value, before deducting discounts and relief. Multipliers differ between small businesses and big businesses. The government reviews these multipliers every single year.
Revaluation is the regular reassessment and updating of the Valuation Office Agency of business properties’ rateable values, usually every five years. This process is beneficial to business property owners and lessees because the government redistributes the business rates.
Valuation Office Agency
HM Revenues and Customs is where the Valuation Office Agency is an executive agency. It is this agency’s responsibility to keep rating lists for reference.
Rating advice and appeal
Business property owners, as well as lessees, can seek professional help regarding their business rates. You can ask for advice should you wish to appeal the rateable value set on your business. Professional and reputable advisors must be members of one or more of the following regulating bodies: the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers (ISVA). Advisors who are members of these organisations must follow the regulations of professional conduct. It protects the client from malpractice.
Business rate managers can provide significant help to business owners to alleviate their rate liabilities. These companies can review valuations and see if there are excessive assessments, which they can then challenge to ensure that the government grant their clients reductions on their rateable value. As they base rateable value on a business property’s annual rental, it is open for contention, and managers can use their extensive knowledge and expertise in the field to see if they can challenge the assessment. They focus on their clients’ financial benefits.