Business Rates: What you need to know
National non-domestic Rates (NNDR) explanatory notes
Under the Business Rates retention arrangements introduced on 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the Business Rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth, since authorities will benefit from growth in Business Rates revenues.
The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, the revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by Waltham Forest Council and other authorities, such as the emergency services in the borough.
Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value that is set by the Valuation Officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available on their website at www.voa.gov.uk or you can view a copy at:
Non-domestic Rates London
Valuation Office Agency
305 Chase Road
London N14 6LZ
Tel 03000 501 501
The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
The Valuation Officer may alter the value if the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others, who have an interest in the property such as landlords) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the VOA website or from the Non-Domestic Rates London Valuation Office.
Your right to appeal does not mean that you do not have to pay Business Rates until the application has been processed. You must continue to pay your Business Rates under the current legal rateable value until the Valuation Office notifies you of their decision.
If you stop paying, the Council will take recovery action against you to collect any unpaid Business Rates. This may result in the issue of a court summons and the addition of court costs.
If your appeal is successful, any overpayment arising from the revaluation will be refunded to you or used against any future charges. Interest may be payable on the overpayment providing the Council has not had to take recovery action against you.
The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small Business non-domestic multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small Business rATE relief.
The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation. Between revaluations the multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of small Business rATE relief.
In the year of revaluation the multipliers are re-based to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for the Government.
For this year, the standard non-domestic rating multiplier has been set at 0.471 pence in the pound and the small Business non-domestic multiplier has been set at 0.462 pence in the pound.
Revaluation 2010 and transitional arrangements
All rateable values are generally reassessed every five years at a general revaluation to ensure bills paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the value of their property relative to others.
The current rating list is based on the 2010 revaluation. Subject to royal assent being granted to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, the next revaluation will be postponed until 2017 to provide greater stability for businesses to encourage economic growth. Five yearly revaluations will continue from 2017.
Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. The Government’s Written Ministerial Statement on the postponement can be found at the following link:
For those ratepayers who would otherwise have seen significant increases in their Rates liability, the Government has put in place a £2billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rATE bills as a result of the 2010 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.
Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier).
The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2010, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.
Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as because of changes to the amount of small Business rATE relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.
The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. More information on revaluation 2010 can be found at www.voa.gov.uk
For information on reductions please see Business Rates - Reductions.
Download the Business Rates guide
Download this year's Business Rates mailout below:
- Council expenditure for Business Rates (28KB PDF File)
- Business Rates guide - 2013-14 (606KB PDF file)
- Letter from the Leader (129KB PDF file)
- Crossrail Supplement (35KB PDF file)