Check Rateable Value or Risk Overpaying
Businesses need to check the property valuations details they received last October, or risk overpaying when new business rates are introduced on 1st April, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has warned.
On 1st April 2010, new business rates will be introduced in England and Wales for business property based on the rateable values produced by the VOA. These are calculated according to market rents on 1st April 2008.
The VOA reviews the rateable values every five years, based on rental values of property — this is called a “revaluation”. They were last updated in Britain on 1st April 2005.
Letters were sent out to businesses by the VOA in October 2009 detailing the rateable value of their property and what this calculation was based on. Firms can check the details of their 2010 valuation on the VOA website.
Firms should check that the VOA correctly lists factors such as the size of the premises, the number of rooms, how the premises are used and the property’s location. The VOA has warned that if any of the valuation details are incorrect and the business does not inform them, they may be asked to pay too much.
“It’s important that businesses check their rateable values to make sure the details are correct and contact us if they have any concerns.”
said VOA revaluation project manager, Steve Bliss.
Business owners can also visit the VOA’s website and use a postcode search to see their rateable value and compare it with other properties.
“The website has been designed to make the process easy. It offers straightforward help, with short videos on key topics designed to give a step-by-step guide to the valuation process.”
Councils will include details of any rate relief available for the property on the bill, including small business rate relief, transition and empty property relief.
In 2010/11, property with a rateable value below £12,000 is eligible for a small business rate relief reduction, while property with a rateable value below £18,000 is eligible for the bill to be calculated using the small business multiplier to reduce the amount to pay. Businesses can only receive these reductions if they apply to the council.
According to the VOA, 60% of business properties will see a decrease in their business rates bill this year.
For more information and to access your valuation details, visit the VOA website.