How do you Rate?
IF YOU DO NOT CHECK YOUR BUSINESS RATE ASSESSMENTS, YOU MAY BE OVERPAYING
Businesses will be receiving their new business rate bills between now and 1st April. From this date, businesses can appeal against their business rates if they believe them to be incorrect.*
This follows the recent quinquennial (five yearly) review of business rate assessments. This assessment is known as a rateable value. It is important that businesses ensure they have been assessed correctly because their new assessments will form the basis of their new rates bills up until 1st April 2010.
Businesses can appeal by themselves, but a skilled professional advisor is crucial to ensure maximum chance of success. Professional rating advisers who are RICS members are governed by a strict code of practice and are experts in both valuation and the rating system. Over 1.7 million new rates bills are being issued for 1st April.
Business can make a further appeal in the following circumstances:
- If the Valuation Officer or Assessor has changed the rateable value.
- If a material change has occurred to the property, or its locality, which would affect its value, including:
- A change to the premises.
- A change in the area – such as disturbance due to nearby road works or other building operations.
- New developments, which affect the property’s value.
Businesses should beware of opportunist, unqualified ‘cowboy’ advisers or consultants who make claims that they can definitely reduce business rates. It is important to ensure that the professional you hire is in fact who they say they are. The validity of an RICS member can be checked by calling RICS Contact Centre on 0870 333 1600 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICS have set up a helpline offering business rates advice. For a free half hour consultation with a local RICS firm call the RICS Business Rates helpline on 0870 333 1600.
For more information or comment contact Sarah McShane on 0207 695 1720 or Andrew Smith 020 73343891
To contact a surveyor call 0870 333 1600 or log onto www.rics.org/businesspropertyadvice
Businesses in Scotland can appeal as soon as they receive their bill.
Information on business rates can be found at www.rics.org/business. Hard copy information leaflets are available via the RICS Contact Centre: T 0870 333 1600 or email@example.com
*To appeal against your rates, English and Welsh businesses should apply to the Valuation Office Agency. The rating system is to be amended by government legislation on 1 April. RICS has expressed major concerns about the government proposals and these can be found at www.voa.gov.uk.
Scottish businesses should apply to the Scottish Assessors’ web sites, www.saa.gov.uk.
Ratepayers in Scotland can use a ‘rates calculator’ provided by the Scottish executive at www.scotland.gov.uk/businessrates
RICS is the mark of property professionalism worldwide. It covers all aspects of real estate, property, construction and associated environmental issues. RICS has 110,000 members globally and represents, regulates and promotes the work of property professionals throughout 120 countries.