About Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates)
Business Rates are local taxes charged on business and other non-domestic property. They are sometimes called Non-Domestic Rates. Councils collect the money and keep a percentage. The rest of the money goes to central government and is then shared back with councils according to the population in each area.
How we calculate Business Rates
We work out the amount of Business Rates due by multiplying the rateable value of the property by a multiplier figure. The multiplier figure increases with inflation. Central government sets a new multiplier each year.
Which properties are charged Business Rates
The HM Revenue and Customs Valuation Office Agency (VOA) regularly sends us a list of all the non-domestic properties in Cheshire East with a rateable value. We must send out a Business Rates bill for every property on the list. The list includes both occupied and unoccupied properties.
Some businesses and organisations can get a reduction on their Business Rates through rate relief. The property still counts for Business Rates, but the bill will show the reduced amount. Some types of rate relief can be up to 100%.
A few types of property are exempt from business rates. These properties aren't given a rateable value, aren't on the ratings list, and don't get a bill.
Where a property can't be used for business purposes because it is derelict and beyond repair, the VOA might set a rateable value of zero. This means the Business Rates bill will be zero. But it's rare for the VOA to agree that a property is unusable. To ask for a property to be zero-rated, you need to contact the VOA.
Properties used both for business and as a home
If you use your property both for business and as a home, you might have to pay Business Rates on the area used for the business and Council Tax on the part you live in. But if you only use a small part of your home to work from, you probably won't have to pay Business Rates. GOV.UK gives more information about working at home and Business Rates.
Who is responsible for paying Business Rates for a property
Depending on the circumstances, the person responsible for paying Business Rates might be the owner, the leaseholder, or the occupier.
You should contact the Business Rates team straight away if you get a bill but believe someone else should pay.
Occupied or partly occupied properties
Where a property is occupied or partly occupied, the occupier must pay the Business Rates. Even where Business Rates payments are included in the lease or tenancy agreement, we have to send the bill to the occupier who can then pass it on to the landlord. If the landlord doesn't pay, we have to take recovery action against the occupier.
When a property is unoccupied, the person entitled to possession must pay the Business Rates. This person is the lessee if there is a lease on the property. Otherwise, it's the owner.
What Business Rates cover
Business Rates are one of the main sources of funding for local services across Cheshire East. The money we get from Business Rates doesn't go to any specific areas of spending. Instead, it goes into a central pot that includes income from Council Tax and central government. Business Rates don't cover commercial rubbish collections.