“Are You Aware of the Contents of Your Business Rates Bill?”

Business rates bills are set to increase once again, with the latest rise taking effect from April 1, 2024. This announcement comes as no surprise to many, as the government had previously stated in last year’s autumn statement that there would be a 6.7% increase in business rates, in line with the September 2023 inflation rate. However, this increase will only affect commercial properties with a rateable value (RV) of over £51,000.

With the arrival of this year’s rates bills, many business owners will be receiving this news for the first time. While this increase may not cause significant financial strain for all businesses, it could prove to be an additional burden for those with larger properties and liabilities.

As businesses continue to struggle, despite government promises of tax breaks, it is crucial for business owners to fully understand their rates bill and its implications. However, with each local authority presenting information in their own unique way, deciphering the bill can be a daunting task.

To ensure accuracy, business owners should carefully review their bill for any incorrect details and check the schedule of payments, amount paid, and any applicable reliefs. It is also important to look out for any unexpected credits or debts on the account.

According to RVA Surveyors, the latest increase in business rates will cost business owners an additional £1.5 billion. This is the second increase in just twelve months for medium and larger businesses, while smaller businesses will benefit from the freeze on the small business multiplier and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) relief.

While local authorities are responsible for collecting business rates, it is the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that calculates and attributes them. However, with a high number of appeals still outstanding from the first six months of the 2023 rating list, it is evident that the process of appealing business rates can be time-consuming and complex.

Anthony Hughes, managing director of RVA Surveyors, explains that cases can be dismissed for minor technicalities, making it challenging for business owners to navigate the appeal process while also running their business. He also suggests that physical on-site inspections are necessary for accurate business rates calculations and believes that the VOA should be able to inspect all commercial properties within a rating list period.

For more information on business rates and how to appeal, please visit https://pressat.co.uk/.

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