Non-Domestic Rates 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. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. The money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, locally generated income and grants from central government, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, may be obtained at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates and at www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates.
Business Rate Supplements
The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 enables levying authorities – county councils, unitary district councils and, in London, the Greater London Authority – to levy a supplement on the business rate to support additional projects aimed at economic development of the area. This power has also been extended to the mayors of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Liverpool City Region, West of England, and West Midlands combined authorities. Business Rate Supplements (BRS) are not applicable to properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or below, and authorities have discretion to increase that threshold. The total maximum BRS which may be levied by a levying authority is 2p per pound of rateable value. Levying authorities have the power to apply such reliefs to the BRS as they think appropriate and in such cases must include an explanation of the rules for the application of those reliefs in the final prospectus for the BRS. The business rate supplement applicable in London is being levied by the Greater London Authority in relation to the Crossrail project, which delivered the Elizabeth line. The rateable value threshold in 2023-24 for the Crossrail BRS is £75,000. Further information may be found in the Crossrail BRS final prospectus which is available at www.london.gov.uk/crossrail-brs.
Business Rates Instalments
Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow ratepayers to require their local authority to enable payments to be made through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the local authority as soon as possible.
National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier
The local authority works out the business rates bill for a property by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate nondomestic multiplier. There are two multipliers: the national non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year, except in the City of London where special arrangements apply. Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to certain other mandatory relief[s] or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.
Both multipliers for a financial year are based on the previous year’s multiplier adjusted to reflect the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure for the September prior to the billing year unless a lower multiplier is set by the Government. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They compile and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available at www.gov.uk/voa. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date specified in legislation. For the current rating list, this date was set as 1 April 2021. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values all business properties for business rates. The valuation is based on information the VOA holds about your property. You can view and update this information at www.gov.uk/voa/valuation. You can contact the VOA at www.gov.uk/contact-voa. If you are unable to use the online service, you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501
Business Rate Reliefs
Depending on individual circumstances, a ratepayer may be eligible for a rate relief (i.e., a reduction in your business rates bill). There are a range of available reliefs. Further details are provided below and at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates or at www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates
Some of the permanent reliefs are set out below but other temporary reliefs may be introduced by the Government at a fiscal event. Further detail on current temporary relief is available at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates or at www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates. You should contact your local authority for details on the latest availability of business rates reliefs and advice on whether you may qualify.
Small Business Rates Relief
If a ratepayer’s sole or main property has a rateable value which does not exceed an amount set out in regulations, the ratepayer may receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. The level of reduction will depend on the rateable value of the property – for example eligible properties below a specified lower threshold will receive 100% relief while eligible properties above the lower threshold and below a specified upper threshold may receive partial relief. The relevant thresholds for relief are set out in regulations and can be obtained from your local authority or at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.
Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers 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 the limit set in regulations.
The aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must also not exceed an amount set in regulations. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, they will be allowed to keep that relief for a fixed additional period.
Full details on the relevant limits in relation to second properties and the current period for which a ratepayer may continue to receive relief after taking on an additional property can be obtained from your local authority or at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.
Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by the ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are-
(a) the property falls vacant,
(b) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
(c) 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.
Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief
Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs). The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
Transitional Rate Relief
At a revaluation, some ratepayers will see reductions or no change in their bill whereas some ratepayers will see increases. Transitional relief schemes are introduced at each revaluation to help those facing increases. Transitional relief is applied automatically to bills. Further information about transitional arrangements may be obtained from the local authority or at www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates.
Local Discounts and Hardship Relief
Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts and to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
Unoccupied Property Rating
Business rates are generally payable in respect of unoccupied non-domestic property. However, they are generally not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial premises, whilst certain other properties such as vacant listed buildings are not liable for business rates until they are reoccupied. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority or from www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief.
The new UK subsidy control regime commenced from 4 January 2023. The new regime enables public authorities, including devolved administrations and local authorities, to deliver subsidies that are tailored for local needs. Public authorities giving subsidies must comply with the UK’s international subsidy control commitments. The subsidy control legislation provides the framework for a new, UK-wide subsidy control regime. Further information about subsidy control can be found on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/subsidy-control-regime.
Information Supplied with Demand Notices
Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available at www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates. A hard copy is available on request – the Council’s contact details are shown on the front of your bill.
You can go online to view your business rates balance. You are also able to make payments by debit or credit card, set up a Direct Debit, sign-up for e-billing, report a change of address and apply for exemptions and reliefs. Visit www.camden.gov.uk/businessrates for more information and to register.
Business Rates for Schools 2023/24
The Department of Education have asked Local Authorities to set up a new payment process for their maintained schools and academies. The process will involve the Council requesting payment directly from the Department of Education. However, the Department have asked local authorities to still issue business rate bills to the schools, but these are for “Information Only”.
The information we collect and process for administering business rates is used to accurately calculate your bill and apply any relevant reliefs. The information you provide may be shared with other council departments to help you access services more easily, and as set out in our Privacy Notice. We may share information with external agencies if we are required to by law or in accordance with Data Protection legislation, for the detection and prevention of fraud and crime. If you would like more information on how the council processes your personal information please see our Privacy Notice at www.camden.gov.uk/data-protection-privacy-and-cookies.