Business Rates explained
Business rates is a charge paid by owners, leaseholders and occupiers of non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, factories, warehouses and pubs to help pay for local services. We are responsible for collecting business rates from businesses within Somerset.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) regularly updates the rateable values (RVs) of all business and other non-domestic properties in England and Wales. This is called a revaluation – to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information.
RVs are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. Somerset Council use these RVs to work out business rates bills.
Contacting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
From 1 April 2023, Somerset Council is responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. The VOA is responsible for the valuation of your property. You must contact the VOA for any queries about your RV.
If your property details need changing
To tell the VOA about changes to your property details (such as floor area sizes and parking) you need a business rates valuation account. The VOA may accept your changes and update the current and future valuations.
If you think your rateable value is too high
From 1 April 2023, you will need to use a business rates valuation account to tell the VOA you think your rateable value is too high. You must continue to pay your business rates as normal until a decision has been made.
How Coronavirus (COVID-19) affected future rateable values
The VOA bases most rateable values on an estimate of what it would cost to rent a property for a year, starting on a certain date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. This was during the pandemic and the rent information the VOA used reflected this.