Be aware of changes to UK business rates

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Be aware of changes to UK business rates (image credit: iStock)

New research has highlighted the considerable proportion of UK small business operators that are unaware of an impending change to business rates that could affect them.

Announced in this year's March Budget by chancellor George Osborne, the UK will witness an increase in the lower limit for the payment of business rates for properties with a rateable value of £12,000 from April 2017.

Rising from its current level of £6,000, this means a significant number of businesses up and down the country will be taken out of the business rate category altogether.

However, awareness of this fact may not currently be where it needs to be, as a poll of small business leaders carried out by CVS showed that 36 per cent of respondents are unfamiliar with these plans.

Mark Rigby, chief executive at CVS Business Rates, argued: "For many small firms, it will mean smaller overheads, less administration and an overall cost saving of as much as £5,900 in some cases.

"This is money that could be reinvested back into the business for better marketing, trialling a new product, or increasing staff hours, for example."

He added that the change will coincide with the next review of UK business rates by the Valuation Office (VO), with new draft values for properties across the UK to be unveiled in October this year and then brought into force from April next year.

It means that company leaders should be being proactive at present to find out the true rateable value of their premises in the months ahead, as the changes that are set to come into effect from next year could be a considerable boon to those in need of increased financial support.

Downsizing to smaller premises or ensuring the specific nature of your business is being accurately reflected by the VO (with 1.8 million business premises in need of assessment, there are chances that mistakes will be made) could be integral parts of this process for firms in the months to come.

"Every ratepayer has the right to challenge their business rates bill at any time between revaluations," Mr Rugby concluded. "There is only one opportunity to do this, however."

"Your chances of achieving success through an appeal, and therefore saving money, are improved if you get advice from professional, accredited surveyors."