What's new in business rates?
Changes to business rates announced in the March 2017 Budget
The chancellor has announced some changes to business rates from 1 April 2017 which will provide further support for businesses facing significant increases in bills following the 2017 revaluation.
The following changes were announced:
- support for small businesses losing small business rate relief to limit increases in their bills
- funding will be given to local authorities to provide support to individual hard cases in our local area
- the introduction of a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017.
We have not yet published our local policy for the discretionary relief introduced in the budget. We will soon be contacting all local businesses that may be eligible to apply. Once finalised, our policy will be published on the website with details of how to apply.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has updated the rateable value of all business properties.
Your rateable value is used to work out the amount you pay in business rates.
The VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties usually every five years. This is called a Revaluation. This is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.
The revaluation came into effect on 1 April 2017.
If you have reason to believe that your 2017 rateable value is not correct, you will need to do the following:
- Check - review and confirm the facts about your property held by the VOA
- Challenge – once the facts are established, explain why you believe your valuation is wrong.
An appeal on your 2017 rateable value is not possible, and may not be necessary, until you have completed check and challenge.
Changes to small business rate relief from 1 April 2017
The government has confirmed changes to small business rate relief from April 2017.
Small business rate relief has been permanently doubled from 50 per cent to 100 per cent and the thresholds have increased to benefit a greater number of businesses. From April 2017:
- businesses with a property with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will receive 100 per cent relief
- businesses with a property with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive relief on a sliding scale
- the threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will increase to a rateable value of £51,000, taking 250,000 smaller properties out of the higher rate.