Business Rates Overview

A Brief Overview of Business Rates

Business Rates (also known as National Non-Domestic Rates) are a tax on most non domestic properties, like shops, offices, pubs, warehouses, factories, holiday rental homes or guest houses. You’ll probably have to pay if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

Business rates are worked out based on the property’s ‘rateable value’. This is its open market rental value on 1 April 2017, based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). You can estimate your bill by multiplying the rateable value by the correct ‘multiplier’ (an amount set by central government). Your bill will be reduced if your property’s eligible for business rates relief.

The tax is set by the central government and collected by local authorities. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, local authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. The money is used to help pay for the services the district council provides.

2017 revaluation

Every five years the government undertakes a revaluation and adjusts the value of business rates to reflect changes in the property market. At revaluation all properties are given a new rateable value and multipliers are revised. A change in your rateable value doesn’t always mean a change in your bill. The current revaluations came into force from 1 April 2017 with the introduction of the 2017 Rating List. This proved controversial as some rises were unsustainable for some small business owners. To address this issue a number of rate relief schemes have been implemented.

More information on rate relief is here.

Contacts
You can query your rateable value by contacting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) on telephone: 03000 501 501 or via this link.

You can get help from a qualified rating surveyor through one of the following
organisations:
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV)
Rating Surveyors Association

You may be charged for any advice you get from a rating surveyor.

You can also contact the South Oxfordshire District Council revenues and benefits service on: 0845 300 5562 or via their website.