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FAQ's

Our team have spoken to countless business owners since CPA began, and if there's one thing for certain it's that there is a lot of confusion surrounding business rates and the practice of business rates mitigation as a whole. Here we've compiled a few of the most common questions we encounter. If you want to find out more about our process, feel free to read our blog on the subject by clicking here.

  • How long does the appeal take?
    This really depends on the types of appeal that we're able to make. But if we've gathered sufficient information on your premises and a strong case has been made for your appeal, then we can expect to see a turnaround in a little as three months. However, the revaluation can take up to 12 months. In rare cases, the appeal can take longer depending on the circumstances.
  • What's my input?
    Once we're instructed as your agent, we take care of most of the work. But there are a few things you can do that can help us work more efficiently: ​ - Provide us with a copy of your most recent business rates bill and the floorplans for the property. Our account manager will send you the required documents to support your appeal. - Instruct us on government gateway to represent you as your business rates agent. - Keep us up to date, please let us know of any structural changes you've made to the property or any instances where external factors out of your control have affected your trade.
  • Is there any risk of my rates going up?
    Before we take on any appeal, we conduct a risk assessment on your property which we base on a plus and minus scale. If there is any risk of your rates going up, we wouldn't proceed with the case. We even have indemnity insurance to cover you if your rates ever did go up, but we've never had to use it!
  • How useful is your service if I'm soon to move properties.
    Getting an appeal in just before you're about to move is the only way to get a rebate whilst you are liable for it. As long as we're able to get a surveyor to your site before you move, then we can carry out our work as normal.
  • When do I pay for the service?
    Our fee is simply taken out of the savings once you have had the refund back from the local authorities.
  • Do I have to pay anything upfront?
    No. Our business model is strictly no-win-no-fee. And based only on a percentage of the savings. We'll never include any up front or hidden charges within our service and that's a guarantee.
  • I have multiple properties, will this effect how long the appeal takes?
    Each property has its own set of appeals which work independently from one another. So you may find that savings start coming in before other appeals have finished.
  • Can I attempt to get a reduction myself?
    Of course! It is not a legal requirement to appoint a rating agent to appeal on your behalf, but if you want to try and represent yourself through the process, there are some things you should consider: ​ - If your case isn't carefully risk assessed, your business rates can go up. And this can be backdated to the start of this rating period. - There can be a heavy legislative process involved with any case. And abiding by the rules of the process is time-consuming, technical work. We advise that you prepare yourself for this before jumping into an appeal. - CCA's are a common, three-stage appeal that people attempt to do themselves. However, 75% of these fail at the first stage of the process due to a lack of correctly presented evidence. Seek professional help before compiling and submitting your evidence.
  • What separates you from companies I've dealt with in the past?
    CPA has built its following through exemplary customer care. We pride ourselves on a transparent service from start to finish. Each case has a dedicated account manager, so you're never left without someone to contact at any time.
  • How long will I be in contract for?
    Our contract works in terms of rating periods. The current rating period has run from 1st April 2017 and is due to end on the 31st March 2023. We'll aim to secure you savings for the current and next rating period.
  • Do you have access to my saving?
    No. We don't have any legal right to hold your money or have access to your saving. Any rebate from the council will be debited directly into your account.
  • Who are you regulated by?
    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RCS) are a globally recognised body that promotes and enforces professionals to maintain their work to the highest standard. Their code of conduct can be found by clicking here. Please click here if you want to see our own page on the RICS website.
  • I Want to know more about the Government Gateway setup.
    In order to act on your behalf, we have to be appointed as your agent through Government Gateway. If you’ve ever enrolled for any online government service, chances are you already have an account. If not, you’ll need to go to GOV.UK and click on the ‘Create sign in details’ link. You will then need to: Enter an email address (and verify it by inputting a code sent to that email address). Enter your full name. Create a password (you should make a secure note of your password so you don’t forget it). Set up a ‘recovery word’ in case you lose access to your account. Appointing an agent is the next step, but you’ll need the agency's unique agent code to proceed. Ours is 77023. Personally, we think the process could be simpler; but as it's not we created our own comprehensive guide.
  • Should I continue paying my business rates while you work on my appeal?
    Absolutely. While it may seem counterproductive to pay for over-estimated business rates, it's a criminal offence to not pay your bill. But don't worry, if we identify a reduction, you'll receive everything you've overpaid back in the form of a rebate.
  • How much business rates are?
    Business rates vary depending on your property's rateable value and the prevailing multiplier set by the government. It's calculated based on the potential rental value of your property. To determine the exact amount for your property, you can refer to your latest rates bill or consult with our experts at CPA for a precise assessment.
  • Are business rates exempt from VAT?
    No, business rates are not subject to VAT. They are a local tax levied on the occupiers of non-domestic properties and are separate from VAT charges.
  • Who sets business rates?
    Business rates are set by the government. The rateable value of a property is determined by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), and the actual amount you pay is calculated using a multiplier set by the government annually. Local authorities are responsible for collecting the rates, but they do not set them.
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