TRADERS are warned to be cautious if they are approached by people offering to get them business rates refunds.
St. Helens Council advises although some legitimate companies specialise in business rate valuations appeals, some are reluctant to highlight the potential costs for their service. Finance Councillor and cabinet member Jeff Fletcher is one of those who has been approached, in his case via his Council email address.
He said: “Anyone with a business can appeal against their rateable value using the Valuation Office Agency website (www.voa.gov.uk) and is completely free.
“But if anyone is tempted to employ a rating agent they should always check that they are reputable and belong to a professional body - before signing any contract.
“Reputable agents will inspect your property and see the accounts before they estimate any saving they think they can make for you. It’s worth bearing in mind that any change in the rateable value may not make a difference to the amount you pay.”