Understanding my business rates bill

Business rates annual bills FAQs 2023/24

Why does my bill show a balance outstanding?

If you were previously issued with a Summons and the outstanding balance is already with Enforcement Agents, you must contact them to make payment. If your outstanding balance is subject to a payment arrangement, please ensure that it is up-to-date and continue to make your payments in addition to those shown on your new Bill to avoid court proceedings.

An outstanding balance that has been subject to previous court proceedings will be shown as ‘subject to court proceedings’ on your annual bill.

How can I make payment?

You can view payment methods online, or see the back of your bill for instructions.

You can set up Direct Debit Payments

If you were previously paying by Direct Debit and it has not been cancelled it will automatically continue to be your method of payment. You will not need to set up a new Direct Debit instruction for the new financial year (i.e. 2023/24).

I want to pay over 12 months not 10

You have two options to pay over 12 months:

Note: If you wish to change your payment plan, please pay the 1st April instalment, as requested on your bill. Then submit your request for the change to be made immediately after. This will help to arrange monthly instalments over 12 months. If your request is delayed, it may mean that we are unable to give 12 monthly instalments if there are insufficient months remaining in the year.

My bill does not show my exemption/relief?

If you have recently submitted an application for a reduction to your Business Rates, it may still be awaiting processing. You must continue to pay as per your bill instructions, until you receive a revised bill. The revised bill will show the amount of the reduction and recalculated future instalment amount details. If you have been awarded a full exemption and your Business Rates account is in credit, you can Request a refund.

Please log in to your account to check the exemption/relief has been applied to your account before you do this.

If you believe you may qualify for a discount or exemption, please view Business Rates Reliefs and Exemptions for details. You can upload your application using our Evidence Form.

My empty property is now occupied or has become unoccupied, what do I need to do?

Please tell us about this change by completing the online form. Once your notification has been processed, the Business Ratepayer will receive a revised or new bill as appropriate. This can be checked via your MyHarrow Account.

Why have I been charged for Cross Rail?

If your business premises have a rateable value of over £75,000, you will have to pay a supplement to cover the costs of Crossrail. This has increased from a rateable value of £70,000 as a result of the new 2023 rating list.

Why has my rateable value changed?

A new rating list came into force from 1st April 2023. This was worked out by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) More details are available at Rateable Values and Revaluation.

What if I want to appeal my rateable value?

There is a business rates appeal process in England, known as 'check, challenge, appeal'. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deals with checks and challenges, while an independent Valuation Tribunal handles appeals.

More information can be found on GOV,UK: Check and challenge your business rates valuation.

You will not be able to challenge your 2023 rateable value until 1 April 2023, but you can tell the VOA about changes before that time so they can check how this affects the current and future valuations. You can do this via Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account. You will not be able to make an appeal against the 2017 rating list after 31 March 2023 unless there are specific conditions. You will need to go to www.voa.gov.uk straight away to check this.

I’ve got an appeal outstanding on my rateable value; do I have to pay this bill?

Your current Business Rates bill will remain payable until your appeal has been determined and you are notified accordingly. This is whether your appeal is against the 2017 or 2023 rating list.

What are the multipliers for 2023/24

This has not increased from 2022/23 following the announcement on 17th November 2022 by Central Government and has been frozen at the below levels:

  • The standard non-domestic rating multiplier is 51.2p
  • The small business non-domestic rating multiplier is 49.9p

What is Small Business Rate Relief (SBR)?

If you have only one property and your rateable value (RV) is under £12,000, then you are entitled to 100% relief. A tapered amount of relief is given for RVs between £12,001 and £15,000. If your RV is over £15,001 but under £51,000 your Business Rates charge will be worked out using the SBR multiplier which is less than the standard multiplier.
Further information concerning SBR, including where you take on another property, can be found on our Reliefs and Exemptions pages.

Why is there transitional relief shown on my Bill?

All commercial properties in England were revalued with effect from 1st April 2023. If your Business Rates liability on 1st April 2023 exceeds your liability on 31st March 2023 by more than a government specified amount, you may be eligible for transitional relief to phase in the effects of the increase. The amount of any relief given, will be automatically calculated and shown on your bill. You will not need to contact us to apply for it.

More information can be found on Transitional Relief.

Can I get Retail Rate Relief?

From 1st April 2023, the level of relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will be 75% but, will be capped at a maximum amount of £110,000 per business. There will be no rateable value threshold limit. Details of the businesses that may be eligible for relief under the scheme can be found in our scheme policy.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme is subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance limits under the Subsidy Control Act. This means that no recipient can receive over £315,000 over a 3-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the 2 previous financial years). Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2021/22 do not count towards the limit. Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Minimal Financial Assistance or Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the 3-year period should be counted.

Where is my Supporting Small Business relief?

In its Autumn Statement on 17th November 2022, the Government announced that ratepayers losing Small Business Rates Relief due to the revaluation, would have the increase in their bills generally limited to a maximum of £50 per month (ie £600 per annum). Unfortunately the software to calculate this has not yet been received and so your annual bill does not show this. This will be processed automatically as soon as possible and a new bill issued if you are eligible. There is no need to make an application.

How can I contact the Council about my Business Rates?

Please view our Business Rates Webpages, as you may find the information that you are seeking there. If you cannot find the information that you want, please submit an enquiry via our Enquiry Form

If you need to supply evidence or supporting documentation, you can upload documents.

Contact details are shown on your bill.

Where can I go now the Civic Centre is closed?

The Civic Centre’s customer reception is now closed. In its place, the Council has opened two new sites in the town centre for in-person enquiries.

99% of our customer interactions are now online or over the telephone. If you have queries relating to Council Tax and Business Rates, please first visit the Council’s website.

Should you need help to access our services online, Council staff at Greenhill Library will be happy to assist you. The address is Greenhill Library, Perceval Square, College Road, Harrow, HA1 1GX. This service is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. The opening hours of the main library may differ.

You can use this new service to submit enquiries online, notify changes of circumstance, make cashless payments, and submit requested documents, which will be scanned.

The Register Office, for the registration of births, deaths and marriages, which was located at the Civic Centre, has also now moved to Greenhill Library. It can be found in ‘The Pavilion’ next door to the main library service.