Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property.

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

The VOA sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information.

We use the rateable value and the business rates multiplier (set by central government) to calculate your business rates bill.

What is the rateable value?

The rateable value is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs.

A property's rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would rent for if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.

  • until 31 March 2017, the rateable values will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008
  • from 1 April 2017, the rateable values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details here www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates.

What is a revaluation?

The VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties usually every five years. This is called a Revaluation. This is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.

Transitional scheme

Many ratepayers will see only a small change in their rates bill at the revaluation. However, some properties will see a more significant change - both increases and reductions. Transitional arrangements are used to phase in these changes.

The transitional arrangements will support ratepayers by allowing them time to adjust to their new rates bills. Those ratepayers facing increases will see their bill capped each year at a set percentage increase due to the revaluation. The Government has stated that the transitional scheme must be self-financing and so ratepayers who would otherwise see a large decrease in liability will not get the full benefit immediately but will have the reduction capped at a set percentage.

Where transition is applicable it will be calculated automatically and be shown on your business rates bill.

Non domestic rates transitional scheme

2017-2021 Discretionary rate relief scheme

How can I find out more?

For more information on the 2017 revaluation, rateable values, and business rates go to www.gov.uk/guidance/revaluation-of-business-rates.

You can also estimate your business rates bill, including any small business rate relief the local council may apply.

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Page last updated 01/11/2017