Important information on Business Rates

The Valuation Office Agency, an Executive Agency of HMRC, is responsible for assessing all rateable values for business rates (also known as ‘Non-Domestic Rates’ or ‘NNDR’) across England and Wales. They have recently completed the revaluation of rateable values, which will be effective from 1st April 2017, and have published a draft list of them online. The revaluation of rateable values reflects changes in the property market across England and Wales since 2008. The impact of this for Winchester is that business rates will go up overall by 11.6% across the district with a number of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ from this process. The Government intends to introduce a transitional relief scheme for businesses that have been affected by significantly higher rateable value increases. The government intends this to be a self-financing scheme so the relief will be balanced by a surcharge on rates where RV reductions have fallen below a certain percentage in comparison to the current RV.

You can view your draft RV and get an estimate of your 2017-18 bill online at www.gov.uk/voa/revaluation. Please take the time to review the information held by the VOA. If you think any of the information is incorrect then ask the VOA to update your records. If you do not do this, you risk paying too much in business rates.

It is the City Council’s responsibility to collect and administer business rates from across the district. Since 2013, the district is able to retain a small proportion of rates collected locally, with the rest distributed to the county council, fire authority and Central Government in line with the Government’s scheme. In fact, Winchester City Council retained only 6.6% of the amount collected in 2015/16. Each year we consult with businesses on how we spend this budget as we are keen to ensure we are doing all that we can to help our business community, and recognise that in times of austerity, we need to behave more as a commercial organisation.

We are holding our annual business breakfast on 1 December at Guildhall Winchester. Details are available at http://www.winchester.gov.uk/business/economic-conference-2016 and booking is essential. In addition to our spending plans and our large scale projects, we will also be highlighting the business support available across the district.

There have been other changes to business rates in recent months. The Government ceased the business rates retail relief for 2016-17 and this will have an impact on the amount of business rates paid by some businesses. Also, from the 1st April 2017, small business rate relief will apply to all qualifying properties with a rateable value below £12,000. This will be of benefit to a number of smaller businesses in the district and will mitigate, for qualifying businesses with a rateable value under £12,000, the requirement to pay business rates.

The Council’s economic development team are available to support local businesses, and can be contacted at ecodev@winchester.gov.uk.

Email: businessrates@winchester.gov.uk

Phone: 01962 848 288