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business rates

Business rates is one of the least understood of all UK taxes on commercial property.

We have a broad range of experience in handling business rate appeals across the UK.

Your appeal will be handled by an experienced professional (who will be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). We do not appeal merely for the sake of it. However in the majority of cases where we do advise an appeal we achieve effective reductions in Rateable Value.

We provide a full audit service for clients including:-

  • Completion of rate returns.
  • Submission of rating appeals.
  • Subsequent negotiating with the Valuation Office.
  • Rate account audit.
Contact us to find out more, particularly our incentive based fees.

frequently asked questions

How are my business rates assessed?

Answer:           Your business rates, ie rates payable are based upon the rateable value for the property x the rate in the pound applicable for that rating year (or uniform business rate UBR).

What is rateable value (RV)?

Answer:           Rateable value is based upon a professional assessment of the annual rental value of a property assuming it was available to let in the open market at a fixed valuation date.  For the purpose of the current 2005 Rating List values are based on a valuation date of 1 April 2003.  All properties are valued from the same date to ensure that they are assessed on a level basis.   

What is the Uniform Business Rate (UBR)?

Answer:         This is the key factor in the calculation of your rates bill.  It is set annually by central Government and is expressed as pence in the pound.  For the purpose of the latest valuation list (2005) two multipliers have been in effect.  One is the small business multiplier,  applicable to those businesses eligible for small business rate relief  and is set for 2006/2007 at 42.6p in the pound.  The second is the standard multiplier set for 2006/2007 at 43.3p in the pound.  If you are entitled to transitional arrangements or relief, the rates payable are then adjusted to reflect accordingly.

What are transitional arrangements?

Answer:         The rateable value (RV) can decrease or increase significantly between revaluations.  As a result some rate payers could see a dramatic change in their rates bill between revaluations which take place every 5 years.  The latest revaluation is effective 1 April 2005.  Transitional arrangements soften the impact of revaluation by phasing in increases or decreases to the rates bill over a period of time. 

Table 1 below shows the proposed limits by which rates bills can increase in a single year before transitional arrangements apply:-
Table 1

YEAR

SMALL BUSINESS

LARGE BUSINESS

2005/6

5%

12.5%

2006/7

7.5%

17.5%

2007/8

10%

20%

2008/9

15%

25%

2009/10

n/a

n/a

Can I appeal against my rateable value assessment?

Answer:         If you believe the rateable value of your property is incorrect you are able to make ‘a proposal to alter the rating list’.  This proposal is in effect an appeal to the Valuation Officer to change the rateable value entry in the list.  If an agreement cannot be reached then the matter will be treated as an appeal and referred to the Valuation Tribunal.  In this respect baker commercial act for a large number of rate payers and have the expertise and experience to deal with the whole appeal procedure.