The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Guest Blog: The Truth About Business Rates

By Chris Stern, MD Christopher Stern Associates Limited

“In May 2012, the Government announced that from April 2013 local government would be able to keep 50 per cent of locally collected business rates. 

"Since 1990 although business rates have been collected by local authorities, all of the money has gone to central government and been redistributed as grants. In Greater Manchester all but two of the authorities will lose out financially and will have to rely on the Revenue Support Grant to cover the deficit.

"If that wasn’t enough to worry about, business ratepayers should be aware that a potentially unwelcome effect of this change will be that local authorities have a renewed incentive to send out inspectors looking for unassessed improvements to properties.  Many properties haven’t been inspected for a very long time and cash strapped authorities have, for the most part, spent as little as they can get away with on a task which had no financial incentive.

"In the near future, at the worst possible time, struggling businesses may have to face unexpected increases in business rate liabilities, some of which could be substantial. Just to make matters even worse, the Government has postponed the next business rate revaluation. This will now come into force in 2017 instead of 2015.  Rateable values are currently based on 2008 rental values, which have been in use since 2010. The North-West has seen massive decreases in rents in the past 5 years, but it will be a further 4 years before the falls are reflected in business rate bills.”

Chris Stern, MD Christopher Stern Associates Limited, is a Chamber Plus approved supplier.

The Chamber Plus team has launched a brand new service: The Business Rates Audit. The audit has been designed to identify and calculate any potential overpayments in business rates, highlighted as one the biggest costs for businesses at present. The Chamber Plus team conducts the audit at the Chamber’s offices to minimise disruption, and provides you with peace of mind that all your bills are correct. If the team finds any errors, they liaise with the authorities on your behalf to recover the sums quickly and effectively. Click here to find out more, or call the team on 0161 237 4147 to discuss further ways in which Chamber Plus could potentially save your business money.

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