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About business rates bills

The amount of business rates payable on a property is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate rating multiplier.

Rateable value of your property

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of HM Revenues and Customs. It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values. For more information, please visit the VOA website.

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill and broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that has effect from 1 April 2017, this date is set as 1 April 2015. The valuation officer may alter the value if the circumstances of the property have changed.

The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.

Further information can be found on the appeals page of the VOA website, by emailing ratinglondon@voa.gsi.gov.uk or by telephoning 03000 501501.

Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.

However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.

Revaluation 2017

All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation. The 2017 revaluation takes effect from 1 April 2017. Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for the Government.

Whilst the 2017 revaluation will not increase the amount of rates collected nationally, within this overall picture, over 7 out of 10 ratepayers will receive a reduction or no change in their bill and some ratepayers will see increases.

Transitional arrangements

For those that would otherwise see significant increases in their rates liability, the Government has put in place a £3.6 billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transitional 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 2017, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. For further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs, please visit the Government website.

National non-domestic rating multiplier

The normal multiplier for 2017-2018 is 47.9p.
The small business multiplier for 2017-18 is 46.6p.