Accountants add ASR insight to tips for clients

ASR was delighted to assist well-known firm 360 Chartered Accountants in updating their clients on the issues arising from rates revaluation and business rates generally.

360 asked us to provide a blog for their site and they then promoted the key messages through social media to reach as many of their clients as possible.

We took the opportunity to get across the message that business rates are a significant overhead, unavoidable for many businesses, entirely avoidable for others, and certainly manageable for all.

Like the team at 360, we know that every business owner prefers certainty over surprises. We recommend they should manage their rates in the same way as they manage their salaries and rents, although the experience around the 2017 revaluation suggests some took their eye off the ball.

The smart movers were on the case well before revaluation took effect, but the real winners are the people who routinely include rates in their business planning.

Every business has a legal and moral responsibility to pay the fair business rates for which they are liable, and the safest and best way is to adopt a proactive approach, making sure you are fair to yourself and to HMRC.

Key factors influencing your rateable value may include extensions to your property, or improvements to the area in which you operate. You should consider the rating implications around these issues in the same way as you would when planning a move to new premises.

You should also consider the various types of business rates relief. Small business rate relief is the most widespread and underwent a big change as part of the 2017 revaluation. If you’ve got a grievance you need to be aware of the Valuation Office Agency’s “Check, challenge, appeal” process, and of the fact that it can be time-consuming.

And of course you need to remember that in times of regulatory change all sorts of organisations will offer to help, and it is important to make sure you are dealing with professionals rather than opportunists.

At AS Rating we’ve been dealing with business rates for more than 40 years. We take it seriously, and we are delighted that 360 Chartered Accountants does the same.