Business Rates: what you need to know

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The Business Rates enquiries number 020 8496 3000 is available from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Business Rates are calculated by multiplying:

For the financial year 2019/20 the multiplier is:

  • 50.4 pence in the pound for a standard business multiplier
  • 49.1 pence in the pound for the small business rate multiplier

If your rateable value is less than £51,000 your Business Rate will be calculated using the small business rate multiplier.

Find and check your Business Rates valuation

Read the GOV.UK guide to Business Rates which includes information on what to do if you don’t agree with your valuation and where to get professional advice.

Read the Waltham Forest Business Rates Guide 2019/20 which includes information on business rates across the borough.

Budget changes March 2017 Click to get info

In the March 2017 Budget, the Chancellor announced further support for businesses facing significant increases in Business Rates following the Revaluation. This includes:

  1. Supporting Small Businesses Relief - Support for small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief by limiting increases in their bills to a maximum of £600 each year (£50 per month).
  2. Discretionary relief scheme – The Government has set up a £300m discretionary fund to support businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates as a result of the revaluation. This will be available from the 1 April 2017 for four years. Every billing authority in England will get a share of the fund which will be used to deliver discretionary support to individual hardship cases in their local area.
  3. Business Rates Relief Scheme for Pubs - Public Houses with a rateable value under £100,000 can get a £1,000 discount, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017

What do you need to do?

You do not need to contact us regarding these changes. We will be in touch with you if you are eligible and issue amended bills for 2017-18 once we have received Government guidance.

You must continue to pay Business Rates in accordance with the payment instructions set out in your bill until the new regulations come into effect.

Business Rates or 'Non-Domestic Rates' are collected to contribute towards local services. You’ll probably have to pay Business Rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes such as a shop, factory or office.

Some buildings are exempt from Business Rates:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms 
  • buildings used for the training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship and church halls

If you’re thinking of taking on business premises in Waltham Forest, contact the Business Rates team on 0208 496 3000 to find out what the charge is likely to be and discuss any reliefs you may be entitled to.

If you do take on a commercial property, you’ll need to register for Business Rates as early as possible to maximise the number of instalments you’ll have to pay the charge.

Business Rates appeals Click to get info

The council charges and collects Business Rates based on the rateable value of a property. It does not set the value and it cannot change the value.

If you disagree with the rateable value of your property you must contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). 

Get more information on Business Rates appeals on the GOV.UK site

You must continue to pay your bill during your appeal.

Disputes against liability

Formal appeals against liability can only be made to a magistrate during an application for a liability order. The council will only make the application to the court if the bill is not paid.

If you disagree with your bill because you think you are not liable you must contact the council as soon as possible so your bill can be reviewed.

Write in stating why you should not be liable, and include your name and address, account reference number, and explain with reasons what you object to. We may need you to provide documentary evidence to support your claim.

You must continue to pay your bill during the review.

We aim to resolve disputes as quickly as possible without the need to go before a magistrate, which could cost you additional court costs.

If we agree with your claim we will amend your Business Rates account and send you a revised Business Rates bill. If we uphold our decision we will write and tell you why.

If you still believe our decision to be wrong and the council has started court proceedings against you for non-payment of Business Rates and seeks a liability order against you, you must attend court.  The magistrates will then decide whether or not you are liable to pay all, part or none of the charges for which the council has charged you. If you do not attend court, the magistrates will find in favour of the council.

Revaluation 2017 Click to get info

Business premises are given a rateable value by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) which we use to calculate how much you should pay.

The VOA regularly reassesses and updates the rateable values of all business properties, usually every five years. This helps maintain fairness in the rating system by updating valuations in line with changes in the property market.

There has been a revaluation of all Business Rates premises and the new values come into effect from 1 April 2017. From 1 April 2017, the rateable values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.  

You can find and review your business rates valuation on GOV.UK to make sure all your property information held by the VOA is correct and get an estimate your Business Rates bill, including any Small Business Rate relief we may apply.

Transitional arrangements

Due to changes in property values between revaluations a transitional relief scheme is required to help phase in the effect of these changes by limiting both increases and reductions on new bills.

Transitional relief
  Property size 2017 to 2018 2018 to 2019 2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2021 to 2022
Upwards cap (protects increased bills) Small (up to 28,000 RV) 5.0% 7.5%% 10.0% 15.0%

15.0%

  Medium (28,000 to 100,000 RV) 12.5% 17.5% 20.0% 25.0% 25.0%
  Large (over 100,000 RV) 42.0% 32.0% 49.0% 16.0% 6.0%
Downwards cap (limits decreased bills) Small 20.0% 30.0% 35.0% 55.0% 55.0%
  Medium 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 25.0%
  Large 4.1% 4.6% 5.9% 5.8% 4.8%

Note: these are year-on-year caps on increases. For instance, the maximum increase for small properties over five years would be 64%. But a small property with an increase of 7% would reach their full bill in year two.

If you are entitled to transitional relief this will be automatically awarded and be shown on the front of your bill.

We have decided to publish information, where possible, to answer the most commonly asked Freedom of Information Act questions related to National Non Domestic Rates, commonly referred to as Business Rates.

Below, you can download a list of Limited and PLC companies in the borough which details the following:

  • rateable value
  • actual charge
  • charitable reliefs
  • discretionary reliefs
  • empty exemptions
  • empty reliefs
  • mandatory reliefs
  • Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR)

The names of private individuals and sole traders are not included as that information is personal data and is exempt under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This list will be updated quarterly.

Credit balances

We don't provide information relating to credit balances on accounts, as we consider that providing that information would breach Section 31(1)(a) of the Act: Prevention or Detection of Crime. Please refer to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) decision dated 6 February 2017.

Section 31(1) (a) creates an exemption from the right to know if releasing the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention of crime. We believe that releasing that information would allow potential fraudsters to use the information to identify business entities which are entitled to claim credits on their accounts. Once such a business had been identified, there would be a number of avenues open to the fraudsters to seek to obtain funds.    

Valuation Office FAQs Click to get info

Please see the 2017 Rateable Value and Valuation FAQs (102KB Word document) for more information.

Contact Click to get info

Revenues and Benefits Service
London Borough of Waltham Forest
PO Box 856 
London E17 9PN
Phone: 020 8496 3000 (9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday)
Email: businessrates@walthamforest.gov.uk