National Non-Domestic rates (usually known as Business Rates)
Non-Domestic Rates, or Business Rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at www.gov.uk
Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available on their website at www.voa.gov.uk. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of this bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the VOA website www.voa.gov.uk or from the valuation office. (Telephone 03000 501501).
National Non-Domestic rating multiplier
The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation. Between revaluations the multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of small business rate relief. 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. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.
Revaluation 2010 and transitional arrangements
All rateable values are generally reassessed every five years 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. The current rating list is based on the 2010 revaluation. Subject to royal assent being granted to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, the next revaluation will be postponed until 2017 to provide greater stability for businesses to encourage economic growth. Five yearly revaluations will continue from 2017. Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. The Government’s Written Ministerial Statement on the postponement can be found at the following link: www.publications.parliament.uk
For those ratepayers who would otherwise have seen significant increases in their rates liability, the Government has put in place a £2 billion transitional relief scheme to limit and phase in changes in rate bills as a result of the 2010 revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there were also limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2010, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as because of changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements. The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of this bill. More information on revaluation 2010 can be found at www.voa.gov.uk
Unoccupied property rating
Business Rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate. Full details on exemptions can be obtained from the local authority. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of this bill. The Government is introducing a new temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013. Unoccupied new builds will be exempt from unoccupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits) where the property comes on to the list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial three or six month exemption and so properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from non-domestic rates for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.
Partly occupied property relief
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
Small Business Rate Relief
Ratepayers who are not entitled to another mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates and occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £17,999 outside London or £25,499 in London will have their bill calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.
In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 50% for a property with a rateable value of not more than £6,000. However, until 31 March 2014 the Government has doubled the usual level of relief. This percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either-
(a) one property, or
(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599.
The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £17,999 outside London or £25,499 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.
An application for Small Business Rate Relief is not required. Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.
Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are
(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.
Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club relief
Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club, and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).
The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
The local authority has a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
The local authority has discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
Cancellation of backdated rates liabilites
The Government has put in place regulations to allow for the cancellation of certain backdated business rates liabilities. The relevant regulations, the Non-Domestic Rating (Cancellation of Backdated Liabilities) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/ 537), can be found on the www.legislation.gov.uk website. Information on the type of backdated rates liability that can be cancelled is available with Business Rates Information Letter titled Cancellation of Backdated Rates:www.gov.uk/government.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS--website www.rics.org) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV--website www.irrv.net) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
Information supplied with demand notices
Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available at www.runnymede.gov.uk. A hard copy is available on request by writing to the Council or by phoning 01932 425412.
Rate relief for businesses in rural areas
Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to relief. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50% of the full charge whilst the local authority also has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
Full details can be obtained from the local authority.
The Runnymede Business Partnership
The Partnership was set up in 1997 to promote Runnymede based businesses. For more information including details of the free Business Directory, the Loyalty Card Scheme to encourage shoppers to use local businesses, and a list of vacant business premises in the Borough.
Trade refuse collection
If you need to make arrangements for the collection of your trade waste, you might like to consider using Runnymede Direct Services. Please contact the Runnymede Depot on 01932 425750 for more information.
How we use personal data
Personal information gathered by Runnymede Borough Council for processing Business Rates is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will only be used in compliance with its principles.
The Council is required to collect and use certain types of information to meet legal obligations and to prevent and detect crime. The information may be shared with other officers of the Council and with Government Departments and agencies. Information is also gathered to allow the Council to conduct surveys and research, to provide you with information about activities and events involving the Council and to give you information from which you can benefit.
The Council respects privacy rights and is committed to ensuring that personal information is protected. Personal information collected for Business Rates uses will NOT be disclosed to third parties for marketing purposes. However, you should note that your business address and rateable value are publicly available information.
Your Business Rates bill
This section tells you about how to pay your Business Rates bill and provides other important information. If you need more information or clarification of anything please contact the Business Rates Service at the Council. Contact details are on your bill and at the back of this booklet.
How to pay your bill
Direct Debit: if you are not already paying by Direct Debit you can download a Direct Debit instruction form. If you paid by Direct Debit last year, the Council will continue to take Direct Debit payments from your bank account unless you have advised the Business Rates office that you would like this to change.
By phone or online: you can pay by debit card or credit card using the 24-hour automated payment line by calling (01932) 425030 or 425031 or by paying online at www.runnymede.gov.uk/payments. The transaction fee of 1.65% (this may be subject to variation by the bank) will be passed on to credit card payers. There is no charge for debit card payments.
By post: please do not send cash. Cheques must be made payable to Runnymede Borough Council and posted to:
The Corporate Head of Finance
Runnymede Borough Council
Please make sure you write your Business Rates account number, as shown on your bill, along with the rate payer's name and address on the back of the cheque. Cheques must be crossed - A/C PAYEE ONLY.
Using banking services: you can make payments by telephone or online banking services offered by your bank or building society or by BACS. Please ensure that you quote your Business Rates account number, as shown on your bill, along with the Council's bank details as follows:
Sort code: 08-90-34
Bank name: Co-operative Bank
Account name: Runnymede Borough Council
Account number: 61106163
Payment machine: you can pay by cash, cheque, credit card or debit card through the Council's automated payment kiosk at the Civic Centre.
E-billing and checking you account balance on line: you can have your Business Rates bill sent to you by email. Your bill will be sent as an attachment with a link to the leaflets that accompany the bill. Register online at myaccount.runnymede.gov.uk if you would like to use this service or to check your account balance online.
When do the Business Rates have to be paid? Your instalment plan is shown on the bill and states the amounts payable. A full year's Business Rates is payable over 10 months if the bill is issued on or before 30 April. Payments are usually due from 1 April to 1 January and must be paid on or before the first day of the month.
Half-yearly payments: if you wish to pay twice a year, please pay the April to August instalments on or before 1 April and the September to January instalments on or before 1 September. You may also pay your Business Rates in full for the year on or before 1 April.
IMPORTANT: if you wish to pay your instalments on any day other than the first day of each month, you MUST pay a month in advance (the first payment should be paid in March) so that the payments reach the Council on or before the due date. Please remember that if paying by cheque you should also allow a few days for the cheque to clear.
Late or non-payment: if your payment is late, you may receive a reminder shortly after the due date. Please note that no more than two reminder notices are issued in one year. If you do not bring your instalments up-to-date, or if you continue to make late payments in the following months, the instalment facility may be withdrawn and the full amount outstanding will be due immediately.
Recovery action: in fairness to the majority of rate payers who pay on time, the Council will take legal proceedings against you if you don't. An application will be made to Woking Magistrates Court for a liability order which will allow the Council to instruct Bailiffs to recover the debt and begin insolvency proceedings if necessary. You will be charged for the summons to court and for the liability order. Bailiffs will also charge for their actions.
How to contact the Council
For enquiries about Business Rates:
Tel: 01932 425412/425415
For general enquiries:
Tel: 01932 838383
Fax: 01932 838384
Civic Centre opening hours:
Normal opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.
If you need help reading any of this information please call the Business Rates office on 01932 425412/5 who will try to provide a reading service, a large print version, or another format.
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