Why do I have to pay Business Rates/ What services do I get?
Business Rates are a contribution made by businesses towards the cost of all services provided. The money we collect is shared between the Government, Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council. This income, along with council tax and other income raised through chargeable services, as well as both general and specific grants, is used to pay for local services. While this doesn’t include all direct services i.e. refuse collection, business ratepayers benefit from services such as street lighting, road maintenance, the police, ambulance and fire services.
I have heard about a Revaluation. What is this?
All rateable values are determined by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HM Revenues and Customs and are reassessed at a general revaluation. The current revaluation comes into effect on the 1st April 2017 and your bill will be based on the new rateable value.
Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution, and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. The new rateable values, which are based on the rental values of properties on 1st April 2015, will be used to calculate business rate bills from the 1st April 2017. You can find out more about the 2017 revaluation at
Where can I find the rateable value of my property?
The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill.
My rateable value has gone up/gone down. Why has the amount I have to pay not increased/decreased as much as I was expecting?
Property values can change between each revaluation, so transitional arrangements are in place to help phase in the effects of these changes on ratepayers’ bills. Large rises are restricted so businesses are not suddenly asked to pay much larger amounts. This is offset by limiting the gains where businesses would pay significantly less.
Transitional arrangements limit the percentage your business rates bill can be increased or decreased each year following revaluation. The ‘transition’ will apply each year until the full amount is due. Where the increase/decrease is significant, transition may apply for up to 5 years.
We will automatically include ‘transition’ when we calculate your bill. It is shown on your bill as Transitional Relief (amount of reduction) or Transitional Premium (amount added on).
How has my rates bill been calculated?
We calculate your bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the appropriate non-domestic multiplier'. This gives the amount of rates payable for the year. There are two multipliers, the Standard Multiplier and the Small Business Rate Multiplier. Both are set annually by central government for the whole of England and change every year to move in line with inflation. The Standard Multiplier is higher as it includes a supplement to pay for the small business rate relief scheme.
The multipliers for 2017/2018 are:
• SBR Multiplier – 46.6 pence in the pound (48.4 pence in the pound for 2016/2017)
• Standard Multiplier – 47.9 pence in the pound (49.7 pence in the pound for 2016/2017)
If the rateable value of your property is less than £51,000 your bill will have been calculated using the lower Small Business Rate Multiplier, unless the property is empty or you are receiving charitable relief.
If the rateable value of your property is £51,000 or over, if the property is empty, or if you are receiving charitable relief your bill will have been calculated using the Standard Multiplier.
How can I tell which multiplier you have used?
The multiplier is shown in the calculation on the front of your bill.
I think my rateable value is too high, what can I do?
If you think your rateable value is too high you can make an appeal, free of charge. Before making an appeal you can contact the VOA to discuss the new rateable value and why you want to appeal it as they may be able to resolve things without the need to follow the formal procedure.
If you do want to appeal against your 2017 valuation you can find out how to make an appeal online here, or download a form and send it to the Valuation Office Agency, 104, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1LX.
You will need to provide reasons why you’re making the appeal and include the address and post code of any other property that you are comparing yours with.
You won’t be able to appeal against the 2017 rateable value until after the 1st April 2017.
The description of my property includes ‘Premises’. What are the ‘Premises’ it refers to?
Many business properties have ‘and Premises’ after the main description of the property, i.e. "Shop and Premises" or "Office and Premises". The ‘…. and Premises’ refers to areas such as a storage area or a cloakroom facility used in connection with the business property and does not refer to any part of the property used for domestic living accommodation.
My bill says that I have Other Balances Due Not Covered By This Bill’ and shows an amount of £…..
You may still owe money for the current financial year, or for a previous financial year. If you pay by direct debit on the 15th or the 28th of the month you will see this message as the March payment has still to be collected from your bank. If you have made a payment in the last couple of days it may not be reflected on this bill but if you think your bill should be paid in full we can look into the matter for you.
My property is empty, why do I have to pay?
There are no rates payable for the first three months that a property is empty, or six months in the case of industrial property. If a property is still empty at the end of the three or six month period business rates at 100% of the basic occupied charge are payable. If your property has been empty for longer than 3 months (6 months for an industrial) you will have a charge to pay. Some properties are exempt when empty. Please see our website for further details.
How do I pay my Rates?
Details of how to pay your bill should be shown on the reverse of your bill.
I paid by direct debit last year – do I need to do anything?
No. As direct debit continues year on year, unless you or the bank cancel it, it should still be in place.
What happens if I can’t pay?
If you cannot meet the instalments on your bill we can check your account to see if you are receiving any reliefs that you may be entitled to. If you pay your bill over 10 months we can now offer payment over 12 months. Depending on your circumstances we may be able to agree a repayment plan that fits in with your income and expenditure, however we are unable to agree to any repayment plan that would extend beyond the end of the financial year. If you fail to make payment we may instigate recovery proceedings which could result in a summons to court for non-payment. If this happens the remaining balance for the year becomes due and the cost of issuing the summons will be added to your account. At the court hearing we will ask the magistrates for a liability order and further costs will be added to your account. If payment is not received and no payment arrangement is made, then the Council will pass the debt to an enforcement agent for collection. This will result in further costs, and the enforcement agent may take control of your goods to be sold.
Is there any help available?
Small Business Rate Relief - you can get help through the Small Business Rate Relief scheme if you use one property and your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000.
If you qualify, and the rateable value of your property is less than £12,000, you will get 100% relief. If the rateable value of your property is between £12,001 and £14,999 the amount of relief available declines on a sliding scale.
If you have more than one property, you can still get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the total value is less than £15,000. You would only get relief on the main property.
You can still apply for this relief for earlier financial years until 01.10.2017. If you are eligible you will receive the relief from the start of your liability, or the 1st April 2010, whichever is the earliest. Full details and an application form are available on our website.
Spring Budget - In the Spring Budget on 8 March 2017 the Chancellor announced the following measures to provide additional relief for some Business Rate payers:
• Relief for businesses who have lost small business rate relief or rural rate relief as a result of the revaluation
• Up to £1,000 business rate discount for one year from 1st April 2017 for pubs with a rateable value less than £100,000 (subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties
• Funding to local authorities to provide discretionary targeted support to those ratepayers that face the steepest increases in their business rate bills as a result of the revaluation
Further details will be published on our website in due course.