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Appealing against inaccurate Business Rates when the new valuations come into force next year could save firms as much as switching business electricity and gas suppliers, claims Make It Cheaper.

The business price comparison service says that it is not unusual for business electricity and gas bills to be halved by switching energy supplier. That, for example, equates to a saving around £2,000 for small retail unit consuming 30,000 kWh of electricity a year. Depending on the building’s rental value, even greater savings can apply to business rates following an appeal to the Valuation Office Agency.

Make It Cheaper knows this from experience. It managed to reduce the rates at its old office by 27% by lodging an appeal against the original assessment, made on 1st April 2003 for the 2005 Rating List. Following negotiations with the Valuation Office Agency, the rateable value was reduced, resulting in a saving of over £11,000 during the 18 months that Make It Cheaper was at the property.

The new rateable values for all commercial property for the five year period between 2010 and 2015 will come into effect on next April and are based on rental values as at 1st April 2008. In many areas, there will be large increases in rateable value which could have significant financial implications for rate payers. However, rents agreed on new leases, lease renewals and rent reviews around April 2008 will provide strong evidence for the new 2010 rateable values to be reduced. The current rating legislation provides ratepayers a right to one appeal against their compiled list rateable value which, if successful, can result in savings in rates payable for up to five years.

Jonathan Elliott, managing director of Make It Cheaper, commented:

“Like business electricity bills, business rates are one of the biggest unavoidable overheads for small businesses. Most people are aware, often through their own direct experience, that business electricity rates can be reduced by switching from one supplier to another to take full advantage of ‘new customer’ offers. Sadly there is no equivalent technique when it comes to business rates but that’s not to say you can’t lower your bills by appealing against your valuation.”

Apart from an incorrect rateable value, there are a number of things that may make you eligible for business rate relief. EG:

• The property is empty
• The property is in a poor state of repair
• The property is now used for domestic purposes
• The zones used are not fair – eg if the premises are in an unusual shape
• This property is now more than one property
• You only occupy part of what you are being charged for
• Your rateable value is higher than comparable properties
• Your rateable value doesn’t bear any relation to rent you’re paying

Furthermore, rural businesses like a village shop or petrol station and non-profit organisations can apply for discretionary relief which can reduce the bill by 100%. Likewise, charities and amateur community sports clubs can apply for charitable relief which can reduce the bill by 80%.

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About Make It Cheaper: Established in 2007 and based in Central London, Make It Cheaper receives more utility price comparison enquiries (2,000 a week) and arranges more new contracts (1,000 a week) than any other business-only price comparison service. These enquiries include those from the business customers of most of the major domestic price comparison services as well as business membership organisations, charities and trade associations. Acting on behalf of these customers with total impartiality and without charge, Make It Cheaper offers cost savings across a range of products including electricity, gas, insurance and telecoms. The prices it offers are often better than could be found by going direct to suppliers because of the volume of deals its negotiates.

Further info: Nick Heath 020 7654 0730 / 07720 297297/

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Make it Cheaper in the following categories: Business & Finance, for more information visit