Surveying the Budget – what does it mean for you and your asset

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By Anthony Hughes, managing director of RVA Surveyors

Ahead of the long-awaited Autumn Budget, UK businesses, commercial property owners and tenants are looking to the Chancellor to deliver much-needed support to help cope with the rising cost of business.

With the Government’s pandemic support for businesses ending, every penny counts; thousands of businesses will face rising bills in the coming months, none more so than in their business rates bill. Hundreds of thousands of businesses are currently in receipt of the Government’s support meaning they are paying little or no rates. However, come 1 April 2022, they are all scheduled to revert back to their pre-pandemic rates which totals more than £26bn each year.

We are all awaiting the recommendations from the fundamental review of business rates which we believe will be delivered in early 2022, although we predict there will be an announcement which could include a move to three-year revaluations in tomorrow’s budget. The Chancellor may well have a surprise up his sleeve – whether this will have a meaningful impact on business rates remains to be seen but we remain hopeful.

Business rates are generally the third or fourth highest cost to any business, but when it comes to reducing liability apathy remains a huge problem. We are predisposed to follow authority and led to believe that the rates we pay that are set by the Government are correct. However, you are within your rights to question the accuracy of your business rates.

At RVA Surveyors we have found that half of businesses assessed could reduce their business rates liability.

It is imperative that businesses seize the opportunity to review their business rates to ensure they are not owed vast sums of backdated, overpaid business rates as a result of an incorrect valuation. A business rates reduction can be an invaluable cash boost to any business and we have seen first-hand the positive impact this can have.

As much as £1.5bn is set aside by HMRC for business rates rebates every year – which suggests the Government is aware of just how big the issue of overpayment actually is!

Like many things, it is possible for businesses to achieve reductions in their business rates themselves. Unfortunately there are many barriers to achieving a successful reduction such as navigating the complex Government Gateway along with the Check Challenge Appeal system. Anybody looking to review their business rates also needs to have the knowledge and necessary expertise in delivering the evidence required to achieve a successful reduction. For example, this requires being able to accurately measure your property and areas, understanding its usage and how the property has been valued, along with the comparable and circumstantial evidence needed to achieve the maximum reduction possible.

RVA Surveyors are independent business rates reduction specialists. We offer our services to business rate payers, whether commercial property owners or tenants, on a no reduction no fee basis (NRNF). Quite simply, unless we reduce the business rates liability for your property(s) there is absolutely nothing to pay. Our independent status allows us to ensure we are solely focused on achieving reductions for our clients.

Whilst I’m sure you will all be either listening or watching the budget, make sure you pay attention to whatever is said about business rates as it could be more valuable than you realise. We are here to help you understand what the impact is on your business and what key changes will be happening in the future.

For more information visit www.rvasurveyors.com or call 0161 464 5935.

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