Business Rates update – how can the MIA save you money?


We don’t need to tell you that business rates are a subject of tension between businesses , landlords and the Government. The tax is considered as a burden to businesses, and can often represent their third largest cost after rent and staff.

A major change to the way that business rates are calculated was introduced in 2017. Business rates are calculated based on the value of property, and the 2017 revaluation took into account how property prices had changed since the last revaluation in 2010. Due to the large increases in property prices in some areas in recent years, some businesses were left with much larger business rate bills!

Further changes came into effect in April 2018. Some retailers have argued that these changes in how business rates are calculated have resulted in large increases in their tax costs, far in excess of inflation for some. Coupled with a rising National Minimum Wage, which has increased on average across all age levels by just over 4.5% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, many retailers are struggling to cope with higher costs.

IBISWorld have published a case study, looking at three retail industries (department stores, toy and clothing retailers) and investigated how the current business environment is affecting their operations – read more here

Our partners at Altus Group (previously known as RatesRecovery) are ready to check whether you can save. All you need to do is send your rates bill to or upload a copy to

It’s free and without obligation.

Altus Group have achieved some excellent savings for MIA members in the past and we would like them to help more of you, given the way that rates bills are increasing.

Here’s a quote from Simon Gilson of PMT who has seen the benefit of using Altus’ services first hand:

I sometimes overhear conversations debating the validity of the MIA and what benefit membership offers?

Well, apart from the myriad of things the MIA does on a daily basis to try and help and protect our industry and further the playing of music, there are so many different services provided to members on a free or massively reduced tariff.

We have just received a very substantial business rates rebate after being recommended a company from the MIA to investigate.

We’ve had numerous others approach us to perform the same task but these guys really did the bit.

Well done to The MIA, I certainly won’t be quibbling about our subs for the next 20 years or so!”

Here’s some thoughts on the current situation from the UK President and the Head of Property Tax at Altus Group; the parent company of Rates Recovery.

Alex Probyn, UK President at Altus Group, said, “It isn’t only those whose values have increased that are struggling. The current, deeply unfair, system of transitional adjustment severely limits the amount by which bills can go down, meaning many businesses are paying disproportionately high bills in locations where local economies are underperforming and values are falling. It goes without saying that now is the time, more than ever, that businesses need to carefully understand their new rates assessment and to check that what they’re being told to pay is indeed accurate and correct.”

Robert Hayton, Head of Property Tax at Altus Group, said “The Government can help support and bolster the retail sector given the structural issues facing our high streets. It is imperative there is a level playing field with the digital economy whilst abolishing downward transitional relief which has denied the retail sector £1 billion in business rates reductions since the 2017 rates revaluation came into effect.”

Contact Abi Whitley on 01730 320 330 or email