Make Sure Your Business Rates Bills Are Right Now, Before They Spring Forward
By Sarah Davey, Head of Ruddle Merz London
As the economy struggles to recover, most smaller enterprises (SMEs) could be forgiven for taking pride in the fact that, despite the odds, they’ve managed to ride the financial wave so far. However, there’s another threat on the horizon that may well swamp those businesses already struggling to stay afloat.
In April 2012, business rates, which are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), will be reviewed and the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) — the multiplier against which business rates are calculated - will rise.
Far from being a small shift, it is...
...likely to be the biggest annual jump in rates for more than 20 years with the UBR increasing from 43.3p to 45.7p in the pound.
For businesses in The City of London - which use a different multiplier - the news is even worse as rates are predicted to rise to 46.1 pence in the pound.
Businesses in London with premises with a rateable value greater than £55,000 will also have to pay a Crossrail supplement of an additional two pence per pound of the value (two per cent).
So as storm-battered businesses face another deluge, it is important to batten down the hatches wherever they can.
Although loosely based on a premise’s annual rental value, business rates are dependent on a number of factors ranging from size, usage, industry, location, even down to what type of heating it has.
With so many factors to take into consideration, calculating a property’s rateable value is complex, and unfortunately mistakes are often made which can result in businesses being overcharged.
So how do you know if your rates bill is correct? There are some basic checks you can do — such as whether the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has recorded the floor... continued on page two >