Your premises will be given a rateable value by the Valuation Office Agency at www.voa.gov.uk which your local authority will use to calculate how much you should pay.
The rateable value is then multiplied by a figure set annually by central government (known as the multiplier) to calculate the rates payable.
All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation to ensure bills paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the value of their property relative to others.
This helps maintain fairness in the rating system by updating valuations in line with changes in the market.
The current rating list is based on the 2010 revaluation. The Government has confirmed that the next revaluation will take place in 2017 based on rental values at 1st April 2015. Find out more about Revaluation 2017.
In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. Similarly, the change in the revaluation date to 2017 has no effect on the total amount of revenue raised from business rates.
Can the rateable value change?
The valuation officer may change the value if he thinks that the use of the property has changed, for instance if there has been an extension to the building, or if the property has been split or merged.
In some cases, the business rates payer (and certain others, including the Billing Authority, who have an interest in the property) may also ask for the property to be reviewed.
If the ratepayer and the valuation officer cannot agree upon proposed rateable value changes, the matter will be referred to the Merseyside Valuation Tribunal.
Can I appeal against any changes?
The Government has announced there will be limits on the backdating of changes to rating assessments with effect from 1st April 2015. If the Valuation Office Agency receive your appeal on or after 1st April 2015 then the earliest they can back date any changes is that date. Your billing authority can only back-date any business rates rebate to that same date. You will continue to have your full legal rights to appeal your rating assessment.
The Valuation Office Agency will continue to fulfil their legal obligations to alter rating assessments if new information comes to light indicating the valuation is inaccurate. Any alterations they make on or after 1st April 2016 can only be backdated to 1st April 2015.
Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the www.gov.uk website or obtained from your local valuation office.
If you appeal against your rateable value, you must still pay the rates shown on your rates bill until the result of your appeal is determined.
Your draft rateable value - how to register (Valuation Office Agency leaflet).