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About business rates

  • Business Rates are a contribution to the cost of local services (such as Education, Social Services, Highway Maintenance, Street Lighting) provided by local authorities.
  • The Business Rates collected by each local authority in Wales are paid to the National Assembly for Wales, which redistributes the income back to the authorities on a population basis.
  • The majority of non-domestic properties pay Business Rates. The main exceptions are buildings and farmland, churches and public parks.
  • When a property has a domestic and non-domestic part (e.g. a shop with a place to live), it is known as a "compound" property. In these cases, Business Taxes are paid for the non-domestic part and Council Tax for the domestic part.

Business Taxes are property-based and are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the taxation multiplier (or rate in the pound). Taxation Values are set by the Valuation Officer (See Taxation Values for more information), while the taxation multiplier is set by the National Assembly for Wales and the taxation multiplier is the same across the whole of Wales, although it differs from the English taxation multiplier, which is set by the DETR.

The taxation multiplier is set annually and cannot rise more than the increase in the Retail Price Index by law (except in a tax revaluation year that occurs every 5 years).

The amount of Tax Bills can also be reduced when an exemption or assistance is granted. (See Reductions to Business Rates Bills).

Seek the advice of professionals

Tax consultants with a bad reputation could be operating in your area offering big savings in your business tax bills!

But, be careful - these people probably won't have professional qualifications and often make fraudulent promises to secure big reductions in your tax bill in order to receive early payments up to hundreds of pounds from you!

  • "We have a fully qualified team of professionals"
  • Make sure the company and individuals listed belong to the professional bodies contained in this document.
  • "We have achieved large discounts for a number of clients"  Get to know the names and phone numbers of former clients and call them to confirm this,
  • "We can get huge discounts on your property"
    If they allege this before a full investigation of your property, they may be 'cowboys'.
  • "You won't have to pay anything unless we are successful"
    • Whatever the seller says, get to see a copy of the contract.
    • Some contracts include hidden fees. Don't believe stories you'll have to pay when the Office (Valuation Assessor in Scotland) acknowledges they've accepted your appeal. You can indeed initiate an appeal yourself, and the Valuation Office will recognise that it has received all the free appeals.
    • Be careful if the contract entitles the company to a percentage of the reduction in Taxation Value. This may not necessarily result in a saving in the taxes you pay.

Professional advice

Professional advice from qualified tax surveyors is available from members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Institute of Revenue, Taxation and Valuation (IRRV).

The members of these bodies:

  • are governed by rules of professional conduct that offer compensation to the public.
  • are fully trained and hold the full qualifications according to the standards required by their professional body.
  • with professional indemnity insurance.

Tax payers who choose to employ a tax consultant who is not a member of one of these bodies should ensure that the tax consultant has the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Tax payers who have any concerns about a tax consultant should obtain the advice of RICS or the IRRV before embarking on any formal agreement to hire a tax consultant to act on their behalf.

RICS will be able to provide you with the name of your nearest professionally recognised rating inspection company which will provide up to half an hour of free advice.