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Business rates explained

Non-domestic rates

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally, under the business rates retention arrangements introduced in 1 April 2013. 

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, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area.

Business rate supplements

The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 enables levying authorities – county councils, unitary district councils and, in London, the Greater London Authority – to levy a supplement on the business rate to support additional projects aimed at economic development of the area.

Business Rate Supplements (BRS) are not applicable to properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or below, and authorities have discretion to increase that threshold (the Greater London Authority for 2017/18 has set a rateable value threshold of £70,000).

The total maximum BRS which may be levied by a levying authority is 2p per pound of rateable value. Levying authorities have the power to apply such reliefs to the BRS as they think appropriate and in such cases must include an explanation of the rules for the application of those reliefs in the final prospectus for the BRS.

The business rate supplement applicable in London is being levied by the Greater London Authority in relation to the Crossrail project.

Further information may be found in the Crossrail BRS final prospectus 

Rateable value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which 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.

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of this 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 2017, this date was set as 1 April 2015.

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Full details on your rights of appeal are available from the Valuation Office Agency. Your billing authority can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is to have effect.

The Valuation Office Agency will continue to fulfil their legal obligations to alter rating assessments if new information comes to light indicating the valuation is inaccurate.

Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the www.gov.uk/voa website or obtained from your local valuation office.

Rates remain due and payable until such time, the rating list has been amended by the Valuation Office Agency under: Regulation 23 (I) of the Non Domestic Rating (Collection & Enforcement)(Local Lists) Regs 1989

National non-domestic rating multiplier

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 rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief.

Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation.

Business rates instalments

Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle.

However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow businesses to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the Barnet Council as soon as possible.

What happens to your money?

Business rates are calculated and collected by your local authority. They are put in a central pool and then redistributed to local authorities according to the number of people living in the area.

This money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services (police, fire, rescue services etc) provided by your local council and other local authorities in your area. 

Difficulty paying your bill?

If you have fallen into arrears, the most important thing you should do is contact us to discuss how you can pay these. 

Ignoring arrears will increase your debt and result in recovery action being taken to recover the outstanding amount.  This includes the use of enforcement agents, making you or your company insolvent or, in the case of an individual, possible committal to prison. 

Contacts

  • Business Rates
  • PO Box 2016
    Pershore, WR10 9BH
  •  
  • Tel: 020 8359 2735
  • FAX: 0208 315 2258
  • Email: businessrates@barnet.gov.uk
  • Opening hours
  • Mon – Thurs: 9am – 5:15pm
  • Fri 9am – 5pm

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