Check your Business Rate Valuations
Businesses have been urged to check the property valuation details they receive from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) over the coming weeks, to ensure that their business rate bills for next year are correct.
On 1st April 2010, the next national revaluation of business property in the UK will come into effect, carried out by the VOA, which is responsible for assessing the rateable value of business property in the UK. These new rateable values are based on market rents as of 1st April 2008. Rateable values are reviewed every five years and were last carried out in April 2005.
Local authorities use the VOA’s assessment of a property’s rateable value to calculate business rates bills. To assess the rateable value, factors such as the size of the premises and how they are used are taken into account.
Examples of where rateable values may alter include changes in the use of a neighbouring property or other changes in circumstance which could affect rental value, such as a drop in trade due to new out of town shopping facilities, extensive council street works or the wider economic conditions.
For the first time, businesses can now check their rateable value online, using a new website service from the VOA. Using a postcode search, businesses can look up their rateable value, compare it with other similar properties and where necessary, contact the VOA to make changes.
Firms can also get an estimation of their rates bill online, as well as straightforward guidance on the valuation process.
Federation of Small Businesses spokesman, Roger Culcheth, said it will be easier to make corrections now, rather than after the revaluation.
“We all have to pay business rates and it’s important for everyone to understand what this bill is based on and how the final figure is arrived at,” he said. “That’s easy if you have the valuation details sent to you and the opportunity to check them now, before the rates are calculated.”
Most businesses should receive a form in the post from the VOA over the next few weeks, with details of how to check their valuation. Businesses which do not receive correspondence, should contact the VOA on 0845 602 1507.
For further details visit the VOA website for more information on the 2010 revaluation.