Business rates: Independent retailers owed £4.2bn

THE SHOCKING scale of Britain’s bumbling business rates system has been revealed, as new figures on repayments come to light.

THE SHOCKING scale of Britain’s bumbling business rates system has been revealed. 

Less than one-third of businesses in England have appealed to the Government for compensation over incorrect business rate charges – but new figures have come to light that reveal that the Government has set aside £4.2bn for repayments.

With more than one in four appeals succeeding, Retail Express is urging retailers who haven’t looked at their rates to get what they are owed.

As of March this year, only 35% of England’s 1.7million businesses had lodged a claim, meaning many millions of pounds have gone unpaid. 

Business adviser Paul Turner-Mitchell, who uncovered the eye-watering statistics, told Retail Express: “The root of the problem is that retailers pay a disproportionate amount of tax and this is doing immense damage to the high street.” 

The revelations follow a recent report into the Valuation Office Agency that found that only 38% of business rate payers found the valuation of properties easy to understand, while just 45% found the appeals process fathomable. 

“Business rates need to be looked at more holistically within the overall context of the economy and other taxes and not simply as a guaranteed revenue stream,” added Turner-Mitchell. “We need to fully understand the impact of business rates on business decision-making
processes not just for retail, but as a whole.”

Raaj Chandarana of Tara’s News in High Wycombe, said: “I haven’t looked at the rates we pay, but I will definitely have a look at this now. Who wouldn’t want a piece of this? It’s about time we got something back from the Government.” 


  1. Gather details of your rent payments since 2008
  2. Go to www.2010.voa.gov.uk and click ‘Find my property valuation’ button
  3. Type in your postcode to find out the rateable value of your property
  4. If your current rateable value is higher than your annual rent, click ‘Appeal against this valuation’ button
  5. Enter details of the property on the ‘proposal to appeal’ online form

Have you been overcharged? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.


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