How Business Rates work

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March 2017 budget information

In the Spring Budget 2017, changes were announced to further support businesses facing significant bill increases following the 2017 revaluation.  

  • £1,000 discount for eligible public houses to reduce their bill for 2017/18 subject to state aid limits to businesses with multiple properties. This will also apply for 2018/19.
  • Limiting the increase for those ratepayers who, as a result of increased rateable values at the revaluation, will lose some or all of their Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
  • A discretionary support fund available to support businesses over the next four years where a significant increase has occurred in 2017/18 following the revaluation.

You do not have to apply for any of these reliefs. If you qualify, the relief will automatically be shown on your 2018-19 business rates bill.

Business Rates

National Non Domestic Rates (often called Business Rates) is a national tax collected locally by the Council which is payable by the occupier or owner of business property.

An element of what is collected locally by the Council is then paid across to Central Government as well as Suffolk County Council. From 1 April 2013, all Councils will retain some of this money and specifically a proportion of any growth in Business Rates. In Suffolk, a 'pooling' arrangement has been agreed to maximise the amount of money retained and protect against the risk of reductions in Business Rates income.

Your authority's share of Business Rate income, together with income from its Council Tax payers, money from the Government, and from fees and charges, is used to pay for the services provided by your authority and other local authorities in your area.

Business Rates, or Non Domestic Rates, are calculated by multiplying the property's rateable value by the Government multiplier.

The Government multiplier is set by Central Government and is adjusted in line with the rate of inflation. The Standard multiplier and Small Business multiplier can be found here

Rateable value

All non-domestic property has a rateable value unless it is exempt. The rateable value broadly represents the annual rent the property could have been let for on the open market 2 years prior to the current Rating List assuming that the tenant is responsible for repairs, insurance and other expenses as well as the payment of rates and has fulfilled those obligations. The Rating List is compiled by the Valuation Office Agency (part of HM Revenue and Customs), who assess the properties and ensure that the rateable values are kept up to date. All non-domestic property is revalued every five years, and a copy of the Rating List is available for inspection at the Valuation Office, the Council Offices, or at the Valuation Office Agency website.

Or, you can write to the Valuation Office:

The Valuation Office Agency
Rosebery Court
Central Avenue
St Andrews Business Park
Norwich NR7 0HS

Telephone: 03000 501 501


Further information relating to Business Rates is also available on the GOV.UK website.

Empty property rate relief threshold

The rateable value threshold below which empty properties are exempt from business rates is £2,900.

This means if your rateable value is £2,900 or above you will be liable to pay empty property business rates at 100%. There are some premises, such as listed buildings and certain industrial properties that may qualify for an exemption.

Contact Details

Business Rates,
Ipswich Borough Council,
1W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

Telephone icon

01473 433851