Managing Business Rates

Business rates are a significant burden for most occupiers of commercial property. The rates of tax in the UK are the highest of any corporate taxes and for large properties in London the effective rate of tax is now over 50%.

Calculations of liability are complex as a result of a number of possible supplements, exemptions and reliefs. Up to five different supplements can apply in England, and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland have introduced further supplements of their own. There are at least nineteen different classes of property that are exempt from business rates and thirteen different business rates relief schemes. Some of these relief schemes are also limited by reference to European Union “State Aid” regulations, so it is not only UK law that is complex.

Managing the burdens of a complex tax regime often requires external help. But how do you know that you are getting the right help in respect of the right areas? Many ratepayers outsource rating appeals and some outsource rate payment management. Setting up these arrangements is a complex task in itself. We can help you prepare tender documents to ensure that you are getting advice in areas where you need it and not paying for advice where it is not needed. We can also help ensure that you get best value in any outsourced arrangement. Saving money in fees may be good, but not if it means that you fail to minimise your rates liability.

If your rates liability is a substantial one you should have a coherent, long-term plan for managing and reducing that liability. We can help you develop and implement such a plan, whether that is by in-house activity or by external advisors.