Business rates

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Minimising rate liability & business overheads

Business rates can be a significant burden for occupiers of commercial property as well as owners of vacant premises.

Graves Son & Pilcher offer expert advice to clients wanting to reduce their rate liability. A rateable value that is set too high will result in over-payment. If a property is altered or the mode of occupation changes, the liability will be affected. Professional appraisal by a specialist surveyor is recommended in both cases.

The rateable value of commercial properties is regularly re-assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to reflect current rental values. At the last revaluation in April 2017, HMRC introduced a new appeal process, called Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA). Whilst the VOA deals with checks and challenges, an independent Valuation Tribunal handles the appeals. The next Business Rates Revaluation, due in 2021, has just been announced as 1st April 2023, in an effort by the Government to reduce uncertainty and help businesses struggling with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Future Revaluations thereafter are planned to be 3 yearly.

The rating legislation and CCA system are complex. Ratepayers should consider taking professional advice since an ill-considered challenge to their assessment could actually result in a rate increase.

At Graves Son & Pilcher, we deal with all aspects of business rates. We work with you to reduce your liability and help you to recover any overpayments. Our service includes:

  • Detailed inspection of your business space
  • Historical ratings audit and advice on your current assessment
  • Completion of statutory forms of return
  • Local authority negotiations regarding the billing and collection of rates
  • Business rate appeals and negotiations with the VOA
  • Representation at the Valuation Tribunal
  • Rate mitigation for empty properties and small business rate relief
  • Advice on rate changes due to alterations or temporary circumstances

Graves Son & Pilcher are able to check, challenge and appeal VOA assessments. We will ensure that you have been assessed fairly and will explore rate saving opportunities. Upon instruction, we will inspect your site, research rental evidence and, if justified, appeal the assessment on your behalf. 

Considering a business rate appeal? Get in touch.

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