Businesses 'could claim back £2.1bn in business rates'

Businesses may be entitled to claim back some £2.1 billion in overcharged business rates.

This is according to The Independent, which reports that the government has massively overcharged businesses. The Valuation Office Agency, which is responsible for determining the rateable value of business properties, has set aside 3.6 per cent of the total rates bill for successful appeal payouts – but just 1.4 per cent of the money has been claimed.

This leaves a £2.1 billion pot assigned by the VOA for repayments on incorrectly charged rates.

The paper reports that rateable properties in poorer areas may be most likely to be overcharged, as the five-yearly valuation has into taken into account falls in property prices.

Meanwhile, businesses in more expensive parts of the country may have been undercharged.

Business rates have long been a point of contention for the government. Business groups and opposition politicians have called on the coalition to clarify and simplify rules around business rates, while many have also asked for a new cap on increases.

Businesses can appeal against a rateable valuation by completing the relevant Valuation Office Agency form, available on the government’s .GOV website.

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