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Warning that Midlands business faces steep rates rise

Organisations in the Midlands which are liable for business rates are set to face a major potential financial crisis in April 2023, with an average expected rise of around 36% in business rates, according to David Wagstaffe, head of business rates advice at property consultants Matthews & Goodman.

The rise, due to be introduced on 1 April 2023, follows the Valuation Office’s (VO) recent completion of a nationwide revaluation of (non-domestic) properties liable for business rates.

Commenting for Matthews & Goodman, David Wagstaffe said: “Given everyone’s current focus on cost management, it’s important that business leaders don’t ignore the implications of this revaluation – because it’s only six months away.

“The reality is experts believe that the average rates bill in the Midlands will rocket up by around 36% which is close to the expected average increase of 35% across the country  – at a time when every organisation is already suffering from crippling energy and staffing cost rises.

“The anticipated rises are based on the rental values which vary according to location and property type. I strongly advise any ratepayer to seek advice from a business rates specialist to make sure that their position is clear.”

With regards current rates – which can be backdated to April 2017 – David Wagstaffe urges ratepayers to remember that there is still an opportunity to review their current business rates liabilities, as reductions can still be achieved via the Check, Challenge and Appeal process – but he does stress that applications should start as soon as possible as the cut-off date is 31 March 2023.

Matthews & Goodman is also warning that according to the government’s report into the future of business rates, the April 2023 changes could ultimately lead to fines being imposed on businesses if they fail to confirm that data held by the VO on their properties is correct. They could also be fined if the VO is not notified of any alterations undertaken to properties.

“It would be in every ratepayer’s interest to contact us or their business rates specialist to determine how best to mitigate their future business rates risks,” advises David Wagstaffe.

“My strong advice is to get professional, expert and experienced business rates advice –– and get it soon.”

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