How is my rates bill calculated?
The rates bill is calculated by
multiplying the rateable value of the property by the 'rate
multiplier'. There are two rate multipliers for the 2013-2014
financial year. The Standard Multiplier is 0.47.1 (47.1 pence in
the pound) or the Small Business Rate Multiplier of 0.46.2 (46.2
pence in the pound). So a ratepayer who occupies a property
with a rateable value of £20,000 would have an overall bill for
£9,420.00 (£20,000 x 0.471).
What is the rateable value of a property?
Rateable Values are determined by an officer
from the Valuation Office Agency (who are part of HM Revenues and
Customs) (formerly the Inland Revenue). The rateable value of
business property is generally based on the annual rental income
that could have been obtained for the property on a certain date.
Certain types of business rates assessments are valued differently
such as Public Houses and Mines. For further details of how
your rateable value is calculated, please contact the Valuation
Telephone number: 03000 506 100 or
Click here to visit the VOA website.
What is the rate multiplier?
The multiplier is set by Central
Government each year and is a rate in the pound which every local
authority must use to calculate a Business Rates bill. The
multiplier should normally change every year to move in line with
inflation. By law, the multiplier cannot go up by more than the
rate of inflation. There are two rate multipliers. The Small
Business Rate Multiplier (for businesses who qualify for SBRR) and
the Standard Multiplier for those who don’t.
What is transitional relief?
Following a revaluation of rateable values,
ratepayers may be faced with a large increase or decrease in their
rates bills. The transitional relief scheme allows increases
or decreases in the rates bill to be phased in over a number of
years, which limits the impact on the ratepayer. The relief will be
deducted from or added to the rates bill depending on whether the
rates bill is increasing or decreasing. The rates bill will
increase or reduce by a fixed percentage, plus inflation, each
year. The percentages are set by Central Government. For further
details, please contact the Business Rates Section.
I think my rateable value is too high, what do I do?
Rateable Values are determined by the
Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Any appeals against the Rateable
Value should be referred to the VOA.
Telephone number 03000 501 501.
Click here to visit the VOA Website
I have appealed against the rateable value of my property, do I
still have to pay?
Yes. Business Rates are payable based on the
current entry in the Rating List. If the rateable value of a
property is reduced, any overpayment made will be refunded,
together with any interest that may be due in some cases. The
Council cannot, by law, change the rateable value without being
advised of the new one in writing by the Valuation Office
Why do I have to pay Business Rates?
Business Rates are a contribution made by
businesses towards the cost of all services provided by the
council. These services include street lighting, road maintenance,
the Police and the Fire Service. The money collected by
Northumberland County Council is paid to the Government and
then is given back a share of the money based on the local adult
population of the area.
County Council Financial Statement 2013-2014 contains
Do my business rates include refuse collection?
No. There is a separate charge for
commercial refuse collection (trade waste). You should contact the
Council and make separate arrangements for your waste
Click here for further information
on commercial refuse collection.
Is there a charge for unoccupied rates?
There are no rates payable for the
first three months that a property is empty, or six months in the
case of industrial property. If a property is still empty at the
end of the three or six month period, then business rates will be
charged at 100% of the basic occupied business rates. There are
some properties that are exempt from unoccupied property rates
further details please click here.
Do I have to pay unoccupied rates for my property?
There are some properties that are exempt
from empty property rates. They are when:-
- The property has been empty less than 3
months (less than 6 months if it is an industrial unit;
- The property has a rateable value of less
than £2,600 (This threshold was reduced from £18,000, which was
effective from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2011;
- The property is a listed building;
- The owner is prohibited by law from
occupying the property;
- The owner/ratepayer is a company in
- When the owner/ratepayer has been declared
- The owner is prohibited by action taken by
the Crown, or any public or local authority from occupying the
- The owner is entitled to possession only in
their capacity as the personal representative of a deceased
- The owner is a company subject to a winding
- The owner is entitled to possession of the
property in his capacity as liquidator under s112 or s145 of the
Insolvency Act 1986.
- The property is owned by a charity or a
Community Amateur Sports Club and will be used for the
purposes of that organisation when next in use.
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 3 or 6 month exemption and so
properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from non-domestic rates
for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.
What is Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)?
SBRR is available to ratepayers who occupy
properties with Rateable Values of less than £12,000. For
ratepayers who occupy properties with a Rateable Value between
£12,000 and £17,999, they will have their rates bill calculated
using the SBR rate multiplier. SBRR is not
available if the property is unoccupied.
further details please click here.
How do I qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)?
To enable the Council to determine
whether a ratepayer is eligible for SBRR an application
form must be completed, signed and returned to;
Business Rate Section,
- The ratepayer must occupy only
ONE business premises with a rateable value of
less than £18,000; OR
- If they occupy more than one business
premises, then all of the additional properties they occupy must
have a rateable value of less than £2,600 AND the
total rateable value of ALL the
properties must not exceed £18,000.
- The ratepayer must notify the Council of
changes in circumstances such as if they occupy any additional
properties or if the rateable value of any of the properties
How much Small Business Rate Relief will be
The amount of relief available depends on
the rateable value:-
The current temporary increase in Small Business Rate Relief,
which started on 1 October 2010 has now been extended to 31
The measure doubles the usual rate of relief so that ratepayers
with rateable values below £6,000 pay no rates at all for the
period, while ratepayers with rateable values between £6,000 and
not more than £12,000 receive tapered relief from 100% – 0%.
With effect from 1 April 2012 ratepayers who
are not entitled to any another mandatory relief and occupy a
property with a rateable value which does not exceed
£17,999 will have their bill calculated using the lower small
business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national
non-domestic rating multiplier. You need do nothing further
Small Business Rate Relief (subject to temporary amendment as
Where your rateable value is less than £12,000 you may benefit
from this relief. There is also a “buffer zone” if your rateable
value is between £12,000 and up to £17,999.
For rateable values of £6,000 or below
the relief is 50%. The relief is 1% less for every £120 of rateable
value above £6,000 but not more than £12,000.
Those ratepayers who do not qualify for this
relief fund the scheme by paying a greater amount per pound of
rateable value than small businesses.
If the rateable value of your business
property falls within the “buffer zone” then you do not contribute
to funding the relief.
Do registered charities pay Business Rates?
If a property is occupied by an
organisation that is a registered charity or is exempt from
charitable status, the organisation can apply for 80% mandatory
relief from their Business Rates bill. The criteria is that
the property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.
Charity shops may receive Mandatory Relief but only if they sell
wholly or mainly donated goods. Properties occupied by a charity or
trustee of a charity and wholly or mainly used for charitable
purposes can also be considered for up to an additional 20% relief
on top of the mandatory 80% relief already awarded. This relief is
awarded at the discretion of the Council. A discretionary rate
relief application form must be completed by the organisation.
To download a
Discretionary Rate Relief application form click
Rate Relief Guidance Notes.
Do registered Sports Clubs pay Business
Where a club is registered with the Inland
Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) they will qualify
for 80% mandatory relief from their Business Rates bill. There is
up to a further 20% relief available to be awarded at the
discretion of the Council. A discretionary rate relief application
form must be completed by the organisation.
Do Non-Registered Charities or Sports Clubs
pay Business Rates?
Where a property is occupied, all or in
part, by one or more organisations who are not established or
conducted for profit and whose aims are charitable or otherwise
philanthropic, or concerned with the promotion of social welfare,
education, science, literature or the fine arts, an award of up to
100% relief can be made, at the discretion of the
Council. A discretionary rate relief application form must
be completed by the organisation.
My rent includes business rates do I still have to pay?
The liability to pay business rates rests
with the occupier of the property, irrespective of any agreement
the ratepayer may have with the landlord. Business rates are
payable to the Council and if the account is not kept up to date,
action will have to be taken against the ratepayer, not the
landlord, because the ratepayer is the person who is liable. If
ratepayers have third party agreements, they should speak with
their landlords regarding payment of the rates.
I use a room in my house as an office, do I have to pay
A number of factors will determine whether
the space in a home used as an ‘office’ will be liable for business
rates. These will include the extent and frequency of the business
use of the room (or rooms) and any special modifications made to
the property. For further details of how your rateable value is
calculated, please contact the Valuation Office.
Telephone number: 03000 501 501.
Click here to visit the VOA website.
What happens if ratepayers do not pay or are late with their
If a ratepayer fails to meet the instalments
due on their bill, a reminder will be issued. Failure to bring the
payment up to date will result in the right to pay by instalments
being withdrawn. The remaining balance for the year will fall due
and must be paid to avoid a court summons. If a summons is issued
because the rates have not been paid, then the cost of issuing the
summons will be added to the ratepayer`s account. A liability order
will be requested at the magistrates court and further costs will
be added to the account. If payment is not received and no payment
arrangement is made, then the Council will pass the debt to the
bailiff for collection. This will result in further costs to the
ratepayer and the bailiff may seize possessions of the ratepayer to
sell at public auction to pay off the debt.
If you require any further information regarding the above
or need to inform us of any other change of circumstances please
contact us by;