Whether you’re a small company or large business, the last thing you want to be doing is paying over the odds on your business rates. Typically equating to 50% of the annual rent on a commercial business property, business rates are regarded as one of the biggest overheads. For most businesses, understanding this tax is too confusing to understand, which naturally results in missed opportunities to reduce your business rates. Knowledge is power, so here are a few strategies that you can take to reduce your business rates.
Spread the Pain
Businesses are able to spread the latest 5% rates increase over 3 years. If you have seen your rates go up as a result of the ending of the transitional relief scheme, you are able to spread the increase of your payments over 3 years. Local authorities are contacting businesses to provide options to revise their payments. However, you should continue to pay your bills as normal.
If your company is having difficulty keeping up with business rates, you may have the opportunity to apply for hardship relief. In some circumstances, this can result in a temporary exemption. It’s advised to contact your local authority who will have a fair amount of discretion that can help when it comes to reducing your business rates.
Reduce Your Rateable Value
Another route to take to decrease your business rates is to appeal your property’s rateable value. There are a number of reasons why your rateable value may be wrong, such as errors measuring the size of your business property. While there are some people who would argue that you should always appeal your rateable value, a reputable advisor should also check to make sure that your present rateable value is not too low, as in the worst outcome, it may be increased! Once you’ve identified your property’s rateable value, you may be able to estimate your business rates bill by using the government’s business rates calculator.
Work from Home
If you work from home, you may not realise that you could be accountable for paying business rates, in addition to council tax. In practice, very few home businesses are put under the spotlight and you will generally tend to only pay business rates if you use an area of your home exclusively for business purposes.
Seek Professional Help
Whether you’ve recently launched a new business, or you’re a fully-fledged company in need of some help, you may want to consider seeking specialist advice to help reduce your business rates. For example, Gerald Eve can offer you business rates advice to make sure that you avoid paying more business rates than you need. Having a professional step in and help can take the weight off your shoulders and help keep your business finances in check.
With many businesses struggling to pay heavy tax bills, it’s important that you take all the tax planning techniques into account which can go a long way in keeping your business afloat. Whether you take the tips on board or hire a professional to step in, there are numerous strategies that you can take to reduce your business rates.