April 2022 marks the appearance of a brand new business rates bill. It’s been an interesting few years for business rates, with annual changes to the system. This year has been no different, so before you receive your new bill, here are a few tips from us that we think you should go over first.
Compare your rates bill to the last most recent bill you’ve received. Notice any changes? Are you paying more than you were before? What’s changed?
It might be due to a change in your rateable value, or if you’ve received the hospitality, leisure and retail relief then you will notice your discount has been reduced, making your payments higher. We’d recommend making a note of any changes you can see, as they could prove useful if you want to pursue a reduction.
2. Learn more about business rates.
Knowledge is power, and the same can be said for your business rates bills! Getting a better understanding of how business rates are calculated and appealed is the first step for challenging a valuation. We have lots of useful information on our website, so it’s a great place to start. You can contact us directly too, for any answers you can’t find online.
3. Appeal your new bill.
When you receive your new rates bill, you can appeal it. These valuations are not set in stone and can be overturned if they’ve been incorrectly estimated or there are aspects and changes to your property that have not yet been documented. So much can affect your business rates, and everything can be looked at historically too. Be careful if you decide to try this yourself though, it is a complex process and there’s the risk of your rates going up if you’re not a professional.
4. Prepare for the end of this rating period.
This is the final bill you’ll get from this rating period and we expect big changes next year. It’s well worth doing what you can to prepare for them. If you have not appealed your business rates since 2017, we’d recommend you make a start now. You’ll lose any rights to a rebate in this rating period if you don’t appeal in time. For some companies, this can be worth tens of thousands of pounds! As there could be a lot of money on the line, you want to make sure an appeal is done right.
Increasingly, companies are turning to professional rating agents to maximise their savings. If you want to leave no stone unturned before the new rating period, please get in touch for advice, and to see how we can help.