Responsibility for Business Rates

The non-domestic rates (or 'business rates') collected by local councils are the means by which businesses and others who occupy non-domestic property make a contribution towards the cost of local services. Information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at www.gov.uk. Explanatory notes are also included with your rates bill each year.

Who is liable to pay?

Winchester City Council decides who is liable to pay the business rates at each property using legislation set by central government and case law which has been determined through the courts. Usually the organisation or the individual person who occupies (all or part of) the non-domestic property is liable to pay the Business Rates. They are called the Ratepayer.

If the property is unoccupied, the owner or leaseholder pays.

Do you pay inclusive rates with your rent?

The Rates Bill will still be in your name. If you pass the bill to your landlord to make payments on your behalf you are still responsible for ensuring the Rates are paid.

Do you occupy premises with other Ratepayers/Businesses?

Usually it is straightforward identifying who is liable to pay Rates on a property.

Where a property has been split into several offices/units and the Valuation Office assess each one separately we will charge you according to the area you occupy.

If a property has been recently converted into separate 'premises', or into a different layout we may not be able to charge you Rates until the correct assessment has been made by the District Valuer. See the Valuation section for more details.

When it isn't clear

Sometimes we may need to ask you more questions to work out who should pay the bill. If you think the bill is in the wrong name then please telephone us straight away with the correct details.

See below for 2016/17 Explanatory Notes.

Contact Us

Phone: 01962 848 288
Email: businessrates@winchester.gov.uk