One of the largest fixed costs associated with business premises are rates payments to local authorities.
The present system for reviewing rates in England is somewhat antiquated, the last review in England was 2017.
The government had previously undertaken to move to more frequent revaluations, having introduced legislation to bring forward the next revaluations to 2021 – based on 2019 property values. Due to COVID, and to help reduce uncertainty for firms, this was delayed, with the next revaluation set to take effect in 2023 – based on 2021 values.
To regularise the process and move to a three-year review, the government are now undertaking a formal consultation that is timed to conclude Autumn 2021.
If the government are successful, perhaps we will move to a fairer and faster system for valuing rates based on the current use and value of properties rather than that applicable up to five years previously.
If, at the next rates review in England, your rates assessment is increased, you may be able to claim a transitional relief. This means that changes to your rates bill will be phased in gradually if you are eligible. Your council should automatically adjust your bill if you are eligible.
Additional rates reliefs currently available to business rates payers in England include:
- Small business rates relief
- Rural rates relief
- Charitable rates relief
- Enterprise zones
- Exempted buildings and empty buildings relief
- Hardship relief
- Transitional relief
- Retail discount
- Local newspaper relief
- Nurseries discount
Contact your local authority to make sure you are receiving any reductions to which you may be entitled. They will also be able to reassure you that you have had any COVID support grants that you may have been able to claim.