Business Rates 

Business rates are a charge on the use and occupation of commercial premises and are applied according to a consistent statutory definition (rateable value) throughout the UK. All assessments are due to be reviewed in April 2017 and this will inevitably produce some changes in liability above and beyond the usual inflationary increases. So, what can the hospitality sector expect in 2017-18 and, if operators are unhappy, what can they do about it?

With inflation at edging up over 1% when the government calculates the rise for the following year’s business rates it is vitally important to make sure you minimise the impact of the rise on your pub business. With the push back of the next re-valuation many of you will ask “How do I get the rateable value reduced on my pub?”

As one of the biggest fixed costs your business will have to bear are your Business Rates and as they can have a direct effect on things such as rent reviews and the price you pay for Sky TV, if you don’t get the rateable value (RV) and the rates you have to pay according to that value sorted, you could find yourself paying many thousands of pounds a year in rates and other charges that you needn’t pay.

This guide will help you understand the complexities of Rating Valuations, Rating Surveyors, Rates Payable and how to minimise your exposure to these local taxes.

If you are a tenant your landlord company may well undertake to carry out this service either on a voluntary or compulsory basis. Either way you will foot the bill. In order to make sure you get value for money from their (or any external) service you need to read this guide.

If you are not a tenant then you will have to organise this vital business review yourself, make sure they are registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A Rates (Rating) Surveyor assesses your business rates and appeals on your behalf if they believe your business rates are unfair or if circumstances have changed and you qualify for a reduction.

Common Grounds For Appeal

Ratepayers can lodge a statutory appeal against their current rateable value at any stage before 1 April 2017. The usual grounds are that the assessment is ‘incorrect and excessive’. It is advisable to request a reduction to a nominal figure (£1) in order to give the maximum scope for a reduction in discussions with HMRC (the Valuation Office).

Below are the 10 most common accepted grounds for appeal – if any of them apply to you, contact your rating surveyor today:

  1. If you’ve received a Valuation Office Notice after 1 April 2010 increasing your rating assessment
  2. A new competitor has opened near by
  3. An existing competitor has completed a significant refurbishment
  4. Town planning has altered roads or pedestrian areas
  5. New parking restrictions or charges have been introduced (but not an increase of existing charges)
  6. Nearby properties such as offices, shops have been demolished
  7. A major employer in the area has closed
  8. A major tourist attraction has been opened or closed
  9. Nearby work places have introduced new on site facilities
  10.  A local sports club has opened new bar facilities

 

Government websites where you can find official information are listed below:

England: http://www.mybusinessrates.gov.uk

Wales: http://www.mybusinessrates.gov.uk/wales

Scotland: http://www.scotland.gov.uk

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