As a business owner, you will soon be receiving a flyer from the Valuation Office Agency. This will outline the government process to update the rateable values of all business properties.
What to expect
The new business rates bills will be issued next year, in April 2017. You can view a draft rateable value online from October 2016, (FYI printed valuations won't be sent out). To view these draft rateable values and receive notification of their availability, register via this link. Once you have received your draft valuation online, read it carefully and get in touch with the Valuation Office if any of the information is incorrect or out of date.
What this means for you
As paper valuations will not be sent out, you need to make sure you register using the link above, to keep informed of any impending changes to your rateable value. If your information is incorrect and you don't inform the Valuation Office, your local council may incorrectly calculate your bill.
Why is this happening
The VOA generally reassesses all rateable values in England and Wales every five years, based on their open market rental value on a fixed date although the last revaluation was in 2010. The next revaluation will be based on rental values on 1 April 2015. Rateable values are used by councils to calculate your business rates bill.
Revaluation is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.
The VOA uses a wide range of property information and rental and other evidence to compare values across similar types of properties in order to set the rateable value.
To find out more
Including an update to the business rate appeals system, which will be introduced in line with the revaluation, please go here.