Non-Domestic Rating Explanation
Non-Domestic Rates, or Business Rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Except in the City of London, where special arrangements apply, the rates are pooled by central government and redistributed to local authorities as part of the annual formula grant settlement. The money together with revenue from Council Tax payers, Revenue Support Grant provided by the government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by Wigan Council and other local authorities in this area.
Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the Valuation Officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of rateable values, available on the Valuation Office Agency website (External link) .
The rateable value of your property is shown on your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
The Valuation Officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website (External link) or from your local Valuation Office.
National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier
We work out your Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier.
There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for Small Business rate Relief.
Except in the City of London (where special arrangements apply), the government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to the formulae set by legislation.
Between revaluations the multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of Small Business Rate Relief. In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for the government. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.
Revaluation 2010 and transitional arrangements
All rateable values are reassessed every 5 years at a general revaluation. The current rating list is based on the 2010 revaluation. Five-yearly 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 the government.
Whilst the 2010 revaluation will not increase the amount of rates collected nationally, within this overall picture, over a million properties will see their Business Rates liabilities reduced and some ratepayers will see increases. For those that would otherwise see significant increases in their rates liability, the government has put in place a £2 billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2010 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reduction in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2010,transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.
Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as because of changes to the amount of Small Business Rate Relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements. The transitional arrangements are applied to automatically and are shown on the front of your bill. Please contact us for further information about transitional arrangements and other relief of visit the Business Link website (External link) . More information on revaluation 2010 can be found at the Valuation Office Agency website (External link) .
Unoccupied Property Rating
Business Rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. From 1 April 2011, the rateable threshold below which empty properties are exempt from rates after the initial three months, or six months as appropriate, is £2,600.
In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur and sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate. Please ask us for full details of exemptions.
Partly Occupied Property Relief
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only part occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Please ask us for details.
Small Business Rate Relief
This relief is only available to ratepayers who apply to us and who occupy either:
A) one property; or
B) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599.
The rateable value of the property mentioned in A, or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in B, must not exceed £17,999 outside London, or £25,499 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increase above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.
Ratepayers who satisfy these conditions will have the bill for their sole or main property calculates using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier rather than the normal non-domestic rating multiplier this is used to calculate the liability of other businesses.
In addition, if the sole of main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of us to a maximum of 50% for a property with a rateable value of not more than £6,000.
If an application for relief is granted, provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will not need to re-apply for relief in each new valuation period.
Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to us by the ratepayer (other changes will be picked up by us). The changes which must be notified are:
(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief; and
(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.
Notification of these changes must be given to us within 4 weeks after the day on which the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer's entitlement to the relied. A notification that the ratepayer has taken up occupation of an additional property must be by way of a fresh application for relief. Notice of an increase in rateable value must be given in writing. Please ask for full details and how to apply.
Temporary Increase in Small Business Rates Relief
The government has announced that the temporary increase in Small Business Rates Relief has now been extended to 31 March 2013. If this applies to you, it will show on your bill.
Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) Relief
Charities and registered CASCs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or CASC, and this is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the CASC (or of that and other CASCs). We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Please ask us for full details.
Non-profit making organisation relief
We have discretion to give relief to non-profit making organistions. Please ask us for details.
We have discretion to give relief in special circumstances. Please ask us for full details.
Deferred payment of rates liabilities
The Government has decided to put in place a Business Rates Deferral Scheme to give ratepayers the option to spread the Retail Price Index increase in their 2012-2013 bill over three years, to help businesses manage their cash flow during the downturn. Please use the links below for more information on how to apply.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.
However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (External link) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (External link) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating advisor, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.