About business rates
What are business rates?
Business rates - or national non-domestic rates - are charged on most non-domestic premises.
If you use a building or part of a building for business purposes, you will probably have to pay business rates. However the property does not have to be used for a business, if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable; for example beach huts and holiday lets. Certain properties such as farms and churches are not rateable.
Your annual business rates bill is calculated and collected by us. We multiply the rateable value of an individual property, which is determined by the The Valuation Office Agency by a multiplier (the national non-domestic multiplier) set by central government. This is effective from 1st April each year. The multiplier represents the number of pence in each pound of the rateable value that is payable in business rates before any discounts or relief are applied.
The amount you pay is worked out based on your property's rateable value. The rateable value is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency.
You can ask for your property's rateable value to be corrected if you think it's wrong.
How charges are calculated
Business rates help to pay for local services. How much you pay will depend on:
- the rateable value of the property, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
- what multiplier is set by central government.
My business rates - information guide
What is 'My business rates'?
My business rates is a new online service for business rates customers that allows you to manage your business rates account online. My business rates allows you to access our services at a time convenient to you. Using this facility you will be able to;
- set up a direct debit to pay your business rates, or change an existing direct debit
- view your own business rates account, including payments made and payments due
- view and print bills and recovery notices
- update contact details
- view property details, including rateable values and annual charges
What do I need to access my business rates account?
To access all features of my business rates you will need to create your own my business rates account. To do this you will need the following;
- your business rates bill
- your business rates account number (as shown on your bill)
- a valid email address
- the last 3 digits of the bank account number used to pay your business rates by direct debit, or the last 3 digits of the latest phone number provided to the taxation office.
If you do not pay your business rates by direct debit or have not provided the council with your telephone number then please email the taxation team with your contact phone number.
Do I have to create a my business rates account?
Not all features of this new service need you to have your own account. You can do the following without having to create your own account;
- set up a direct debit to pay your business rates account, or change an existing direct debit
- view property details, including business rates annual charges and rateable values.
Is it easy to use?
Yes. This new system is simple to use and provides very clear instructions.
Please note this service is unavailable during the following period each day: 23:30 to 05:00.
How do I access my business rates?
Transition Scheme from 1 April 2023
If there has been a large increase in the rateable value of your property it may benefit from transitional relief.
Transitional relief is calculated before any relief or exemption is applied.
The charge for 2023/24 is compared with the charge for 2022/23. 2024/25 is then compared to 2023/24. 2025/26 is then compared with 2024/25.
Different transitional arrangements will apply depending on the rateable value of your property:
As a general guide rates increases will be limited as follows:
RV up to £20,000
10% + inflation
25% + inflation
RV £20,001 to £100,000
25% + inflation
40% + inflation
RV over £100,000
40% + inflation
55% + inflation
The difference between the charge before and after the cap is shown on the bill as Transitional Relief.
The amount of transitional relief applied to the property will then be phased out over a period of between one and three years, depending on the level of increase.
Any relief or exemption will then be awarded to the bill after transitional relief has been applied.
Rateable values and how to appeal
The rateable value for each hereditament (rateable property) is assessed by the Valuation Office, an executive body of HM Revenues and Customs.
Other than a few exceptions the 2023 rateable value is based on the market rent it would be expected to command as at 1 April 2021.
The rateable values for this district can be obtained by either contacting the taxation office or by visiting The Valuation Office Agency.
In most cases the Valuation Office can also provide a breakdown as to how the rateable value has been calculated.
How to appeal
If you believe your rateable value is incorrect you can ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to reassess it.
The VOA's Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) service launched on 1st April 2017. This was in support of the Government's aims to reform the rating system under the heading of CCA. The regulations that underpin this were laid in Parliament on 17th March 2017.
The VOA's check and challenge service is designed to get necessary changes made sooner, without there being an automatic need for an appeal, saving this route for those complex cases that need it. The aim is to narrow down the issues at each stage.
Check and challenge will give ratepayers more certainty about the basis of their rateable value by allowing them to initiate a check and confirm or update the details of their property. Following a check, if they have reason to believe that their valuation is wrong, they will be able to submit a challenge, and provide supporting evidence.
Revaluation Advice from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA website information):
I want more information about business rates and rateable value
I want to find out my rateable value, and find out how it's worked out
I want to update the property details
Gov.uk - request changes to property or valuation details if you think they're wrong Here you can look up your property by postcode and send in suggested amendments to the details.
I want to know why my rateable value is different from my rent.
The VOA look at many rents in an area before deciding on the right rateable value for each property. Rents can vary between properties in an area, even if the properties are similar and the rents are agreed at the same time. This is because landlords and tenants often have different views on the rental value of a property and sometimes there are special lease terms that can affect the rent paid.
I want to know the rent/trade details of my property
The VOA does not publish this information online, as that would breach the Data Protection Act.
Refer caller to 03000 501 501 (03000 505 505 in Wales) to request the details from us.
My business has closed, and I would like the property taken out of the Rating List
The VOA doesn't remove properties from the rating list just because the business has closed. It is more than likely that if the property still exists it may still be rateable .
I have a property that is in poor repair
My property is undergoing refurbishment or structural alterations.
I want to know about zoning
The VOA uses zoning to measure retail premises. This is a standard method of measuring retail premises for valuation purposes.
I believe my property measurements are wrong
I want to appeal/challenge the 2023 rateable value
I want to appeal/challenge the 2017 rateable value
I want to correct address inaccuracies including the postcode
If the address details listed do not match the used address, you can submit a request to amend it online.
I want to know if I should be paying business rates if a business is being run from home
You don't usually have to pay business rates for home based businesses if you:
· Use a small part of your home for your business, e.g. you use a bedroom as an office
· Sell goods by post
I have no web access
Callers without web access will need to ring 03000 501 501 for any of the circumstances in this table.
You can write to the VOA about check and challenge at:
Check & challenge service
Your bill must be paid as per the instalments outlined on it even if you have appealed against the rateable value. A dispute over the rateable value is not considered a valid legal reason to withhold payment.
Should you wish to appeal against your rateable value you may wish to contact a rating advisor (or they may contact you). It is important that you satisfy yourself that he or she has the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. You may wish to make sure they are from a reputable company.
Beware that some rating advisors may make misleading or false claims. Some agents do not always fully explain that a reduction in rateable value may not always lead to a reduction in the amount of rates you have to pay. This is because there are limits on how much rates bills can change from year to year under the Transitional scheme.
Please be careful before entering into a contract with a ratings advisor. Take advice if necessary. Bear in mind that no one can guarantee a reduction in rateable value no matter how persuasive they may be.