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March 10, 2014

Linda Staker, Partner, Rating

Linda Staker, Business Rates expert at Vail Williams, explains how business rate payers can reduce their monthly rate payments.

The Government has recently confirmed it's intention to allow businesses the option of spreading their business rates payments over 12 monthly instalments from April 2014. Currently payments are collected in 10 instalments from April to January inclusive but paying a reduced amount each month over 12 months has obvious advantages for rate payers, particularly those with large numbers of operational properties and sizeable rates liabilities but also for all those businesses for whom cash flow is key.?

Somewhat surprisingly there will be no automatic change to the payment system however and the onus is on the rate payer to submit a request to each Local Charging Authority by 15th April 2014 if they wish to take advantage of the increased flexibility with payments in the 2014/15 rates year. Some Local Authorities are taking proactive steps by alerting businesses to this opportunity, thus enabling them to make the necessary requests before rates demands are issued for the start of the new rates year commencing on 1st April. Sadly, such Local Authorities seem to be in the minority and as this matter has not been widely publicised most businesses remain unaware of this opportunity.

We would strongly advise that you take advantage of the ability to spread your rates payments over a full 12 month period and would urge you to communicate your request to this effect with all the Local Authority areas where you incur a business rates charge. If required, Vail Williams can undertake this exercise on your behalf. Please contact Linda Staker 0118 909 7447 for further information.??