SME owners can now work out their business rates with a few simple clicks after the launch of a new calculator.
Anyone who pays business rates in England and Wales can check their draft rate using the calculation tool launched by the Valuation Office Agency.
That figure will give SMEs an estimate of the business rate they are set to pay from April 2017.
The launch of the new calculator tool follows the first business rate review in seven years with thousands of firms set to see dramatic changes to their bills.
Businesses in areas where property prices have been rising sharply will see their bills increase while business rates will be lower in those areas where property prices have fallen.
A cap on the amount bills can rise or fall in the short term should cushion the blow for those companies expecting a hike in their business rates.
The review has been delayed by two years in an attempt by the Government to avoid “sharp changes” but the volatile property market since 2008 could make them more dramatic.
The Federation of Small Businesses has fought for reform of the system and called for more frequent valuations.
National chairman Mike Cherry told SME Insider the business rates system was an “unfair tax which takes no account of how businesses are actually performing”.
He told the website: “Many businesses across the country will be getting some relief from years of overpayment or see their rates remain steady. In other areas, there will be a big jump between the old valuation and the new one. To avoid such big discrepancies in payments, we believe more frequent valuations are necessary.”
Find and review your business draft rateable value here
The Valuation Office website will also allow business owners to:
Request changes to property or valuation details
View valuation details of other properties
Appeal the rentable value of your property