The beginning of April brings with it the new business rates bill run. If you’re a business owner, you’ve either already received this or you will in the next week or so.
The bill usually comes with an annual increase in rates, which is based on the current business rates multiplier. It will also include any changes made to discounts that your business is or was eligible for.
The good news is, this year, the business rates multiplier will be frozen for the 2022 - 2023 financial year, it’s estimated that this will save approximately £4.6 billion over the next 5 years. While the freeze is welcome, it has been criticised for not being a big enough announcement for businesses that have already weathered a particularly difficult financial few years.
There will also be a reduction in hospitality, leisure and retail relief that many have been supported with through the pandemic. Now only covering half this business rates bill, this could mean that for some businesses, their new bill is 16% higher than last year.
For many, a rise might also be observed due to a council visit at some point in the previous financial year. This can also have a knock-on effect on other discounts that you may have been previously eligible for, such as Small Business Rates Relief.
Any cause for a business rates increase that the council or the VOA notice will be reflected in this year's rates bill. These observations are subject to challenge, but the onus is on the business owner to correct any mistakes made during the council's visit. If you’d like help putting your challenge appeal together, don’t hesitate to reach out for some free advice from our experts.
It’s easy to accept your new, larger bill as a given, especially if it’s never something you’ve considered challenging. But the reality is that your rateable value is most likely based on an incorrect or antiquated valuation from either the council or a previous rating agency.
Yes, even properties that have been reviewed by an agent in the past could still be incorrectly estimated. Rating Agencies vary in quality, and some only review specific appeals. This leaves many to believe their rates are as low as they can be, even though in reality they could still be overpaying.
When on the hunt for a new rating agency, check to make sure they carry out a comprehensive review of your business rates, rather than just lodging a specific appeal. On average we find three different appeals we’re able to lodge for our clients, resulting in far more significant savings.
If your new rates bill has come as a nasty shock, and you’d like to go through it with a business rates specialist, please get in touch. We’re happy to offer advice tailored to your circumstance, and who knows, we might just be able to save you a lot of money.