Business Rates / Rating

The UK business rates team covers everything from challenging business rate valuations to examining your business rate records.

Our expertise covers the entire spectrum of the business rates function, from challenging business rate valuations to examining your business rate records for evidence of overcharging. We have advised clients on business rates for over 50,000 properties, ranging from one-off buildings to large property portfolios. We have offices throughout the UK and Ireland and we have an experienced team with over 90 specialists being 100% devoted to offering clients rating advice.

Colliers International business rates team includes four Rating Diploma holders (described by the RICS as “the gold standard in terms of measuring the capability of rating surveyors”), more than any other private practice firm.  The team also includes several specialist senior leaders formerly with the Valuation Office who were responsible for providing technical advice and guidance to surveyors across the Agency and liaising with colleagues in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic.  Colliers are active participants in the work of external rating bodies and have specialists sitting on the panels of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation and Rating Surveyors' Association.

Negotiating better business rates is an integral part of our service however, we also offer a comprehensive rating service. Our expertise covers the entire spectrum of the rating function, from challenging rateable values, to Rate Account Management and examining rate records for evidence of over-charging.

Colliers International were among the first to pioneer a business rates account management service over a decade ago. We currently manage payments of more than £250m a year on over 25,000 properties. Accurates, our business rate audit and compliance division, has become one of the leaders in its field.

What we offer

We manage the client’s rates liability using a dedicated accounts team and surveyors to deal with portfolio changes and appeals. The appeals process is only one of the tools we use to minimise your rate liability. We can take on responsibility for the rate function altogether, providing a service that integrates our expertise in rating and management accounts.

Traditionally, surveyors have focused on challenging rateable values, leaving clients to deal with the payment of non-domestic rates. We can manage your company's rate function for you.

We will ensure that only correct rate demands are paid and that any refunds and interest due are paid promptly. We make sure all payments are traceable against individual properties and we provide regular, comprehensive reports to keep you in touch with all developments.

Our Services include: Dedicated specialists, Rate demands, Funding and payment, Reporting, Forecasting.

Empty rates are the breaking point for some in the current market. By eliminating business rate relief on empty properties, companies are being penalised for situations where there is no income. Empty rates are making a bad situation worse.

We’re collecting evidence of the detrimental effect empty rates have had on businesses for the British Property Federation’s campaign against empty rates. We’d like to hear how the government’s latest tax has affected business in your area. Speculative or regeneration projects not going ahead? Changes in demand for property/vacancy rates? Rent levels influenced by rising vacancy rather than falling demand? More secondary or end-of-life properties being demolished rather than rented at affordable levels?

We play a key role in the consultation that precede new legislations’ introduction, helping to limit its impact on owners of empty properties. With a legal consultant on board, we can offer proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities now and in the future. We can ensure compliance with new and existing legislation.

The team forensically examine historic rate liabilities, identifying overpayments and reclaiming them on behalf of clients from Billing Authorities.

The Accurates team is made up of highly skilled, forensic rating compliance audit specialists. The majority are Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation qualified former local authority revenues officers. The other part of the team is made up of data and systems analysts, whose prime objective is to supplement your own existing cost management systems. Accurates is the industry leader, due to its specialist expertise, in providing advice on whether or not rate liabilities (current and historic) demanded by billing authorities, are compliant with current local tax collection/enforcement legislation and best practice.

We forensically examine your historical payments record to identify instances of overpayments in rates, which can be as a result of inaccurate calculation at the time, or through charges that were not compliant with the legislation in force.

Our services include: Desktop assessment of liabilities, Liability and collection compliance, Best practice and due diligence audits, Business rates health-check, Web-based compliance audit report, Business rate administration.

Rateable value is the keystone of your business rates. However, it is not an exact science and is based upon a hypothetical opinion of value reached by the Valuation Office. It is a complex area and requires specialist rating expertise to challenge it. We work closely with our agency and valuation business and draw upon their in-depth market knowledge in order to effectively analyse data and query the approaches adopted by the Valuation Office.

Our rating surveyors have extensive experience in both the public and private sectors – many of them provide evidence at valuation tribunal and lands tribunal cases. We monitor all changing legislation and are well positioned to provide all of our clients with regular update newsletters throughout the duration of an instruction.

We deliver timely advice on whether it's appropriate to launch appeals, setting out a clear business case. We have the valuation expertise and specialist rating knowledge to ensure that your rateable value is at the lowest level. We actively respond to the government on any prospective changes to legislation and we will ensure that you are informed of any changes in the law that might affect your rate liability. Our objectives include: Co-ordination with other bodies, Prior agreement, Material change of circumstances, Methods of valuation, Case law.

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