Non-domestic rates, commonly known as business rates, are a tax on the annual rental value of most non-domestic properties. Business rates, along with the community charge (or ‘poll tax’), were established in 1990 to replace the rates system. Rates were set out in the Poor Law 1572 and General Rate Act 1967, but pre-existed those acts.
Properties are valued every five years (although this is changing to every three years from April 2023, based on April 2021 rateable values) and a rate, or ‘multiplier’, is set annually for England. The standard rate for 2022-23 is 51.2p, meaning that the liability for a property with a ‘ratable value’ of £10,000 would be £5,120. The standard and small business multipliers will be frozen at this level in 2023-24.