Business rate changes on way

Business rates in England and Wales are being revised to take into account changes in property values.

A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said that most businesses will not face sharp rises in costs. It said, ‘Following the revaluation, three-quarters of properties will see no change or even a fall in their bills, and the small minority of businesses that face an increase will benefit from our £3.6bn transitional relief scheme.’

However, according to the BBC, property experts have predicted that some businesses, especially in thriving commercial centres and the south-east of England could see very dramatic changes to their rates bills, by as much as several hundred per cent.

The move represents the first change to business rates in almost a decade and will result in companies paying rates which have been calculated based on the rise in property prices since 2008.

Business rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value of a property by a multiplier set by the government. But as property values change over time, rateable values need to be reassessed periodically – typically every five years.