Muras Matters: Business Rates Revaluation

Business Rates Revaluation

Business Rates

Business rates are charged on most commercial properties, in a similar way to Council Tax on residential properties. The rates are set by the UK Government and collected by local councils.

In England and Wales, business rates are worked out based on the property’s ‘rateable value’, which is the open market rental value on 1 April 2008 and based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

A ‘multiplier’, an amount set by central government, is then applied to the rateable value to arrive at the amount due for the financial year.


The Valuation Office Agency has just released updated property values as at 1 April 2015, to be applied for business rates from April 2017. Since the last revaluation in 2008, industry experts estimate that the value of non-domestic property across England has increased by 11%.

The revaluation is not intended to raise additional revenue for the Government, but the effect of the multiplier is expected to be that average rate bills across the north of England will fall, whilst bills across the South-East will increase. The properties with the largest increase can apply for a transitional relief to spread the cost of the increase over a five year period.

An estimate of the likely rates bill for 2017/18 can be obtained from the following link:


If it is believed that the valuation provided by the VOA is outside the bounds of reasonable professional judgement then it can be appealed. There is a new appeals process from 1 April 2017 which is expected to take at least 18 months, therefore the sooner an appeal is started, the better for the business.


Reliefs are handled differently in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England, there are a number of reliefs, such as:

  • Empty buildings relief
  • Exempted buildings relief
  • Small business rate relief
  • Rural rate relief
  • Charitable rate relief
  • Enterprise zone relief

Some of these reliefs must be applied for, while empty and exempted building reliefs apply automatically once the council becomes aware of the details.

If you believe you may qualify for a relief or that your property value is unreasonable or if you would like more information in connection with this please contact our Tax Director, Jenny Marks.

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