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How they are calculated

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), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available on their website at www.voa.gov.uk

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of this 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 1st April 2010, this date was set as 1st 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 information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the VOA website or from your local valuation office, Non-domestic Rates South West, Valuation Office Agency, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN  Tel: 03000 501 501 website: www.voa.gov.uk

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The local council works out the 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
  • 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 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 government.
The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

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All rateable values are reassessed every five 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 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 rate 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 reductions 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 1st 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 changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of this bill.
Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained from Wiltshire council or the website www.mybusinessrates.gov.uk

More information on revaluation 2010 can be found at www.voa.gov.uk

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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. After this period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the government by order. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from the local council. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.

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A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.
Full details can be obtained from the local council.

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Last updated: 27 February 2017 | Last reviewed: 27 February 2017