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Construction & Real Estate Community

Business rates update

Author: Richard Jones, Senior Technical Manager, Tax Policy

Published: 19 Mar 2024

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In a ‘back-to-basics’ webinar, Richard Jones provided an introduction to the business rates system in England, the compliance obligations the system places on businesses and the reliefs available to mitigate rates liabilities in a variety of business sectors.

Business rates are payable, by the occupier, in respect of different types of premises used for a business – for example an office, factory, warehouse, pub, restaurant, shop, gym and leisure centre. Richard explained how business rates are determined – that is by the rateable value of the property used, subject to a multiplier which can vary by location. Consequently, business rates are not directly linked to the performance of a business and are payable regardless of whether it is profitable or lossmaking.

Case studies were used to demonstrate the calculation of business rates and how reliefs may be calculated. Changes to the business rates regime were highlighted, including the new revaluation cycle for property (three years), the requirement to register a business rate account and the stricter rules for notifying the Valuation Office of key factors affecting a property’s value (e.g. improvements or a change of use). As business rate calculations start with valuations, it is essential to engage relevant specialists, such as surveyors, to ensure that these valuations are robust.

Although the webinar focused specifically on the regime applicable to England, the basic principles covered also apply in the other UK nations. If you register for this webinar, we can send you the recording together with details of how to access information about the business rate regime in other parts of the UK.