Insight

Revealed: who pays largest business rate bills in the UK

A mix of airports, energy suppliers and retailers have the unenviable honour of topping this year’s list for the biggest business rates bill in the UK this year.

More than £705m will be handed over by the 50 largest business rate payers in the UK for 2019 – up 0.4% of the previous year, according to the latest research.

Heathrow Airport takes the top spot with an eye-watering rates bill of £117.96m – this is actually down from £122.15m a year earlier. As an international business and transport hub the airport also attracted other big ratepayers in its orbit, such as the British Airways’ Terminal 5 building, BA’s world cargo terminal and the airline’s engineering base. They have bills of £13.8m, £22.4m and £13.1m respectively.

The North West features in the Top 50 with Manchester Airport taking the No 11 slot with a bill of £13.91m. Gatwick and Stansted airports also land on the list.

London department store Selfridges had the highest bill among the retailers (No 7) at £17.4m, narrowly beating Harrods, which will pay £17m. John Lewis Oxford Street store in London also appears on the Top 50, with a rates bill of £10.4m.

Amazon just makes it on list for its London head office, which has a rates bill of £7.2m covering the 600,000 sq ft offices. Tax campaigners may take a little cheer from that even if their corporation tax bill doesn’t quite meet expectations. It also goes to show the one big advantage of business rates – as a property tax it is impossible to hide buildings and so cleaver dodges simply don’t apply. The only way to get your rates bill down is to look at the various relief schemes to see if you qualify, and ensure your business premises are being assessed fairly and accurately by the VOA in the first place.

Back to the list, former nuclear energy site Sellafield is the most expensive power station, with a bill of £26.6m – down on the £27.6m a year ago. Also, on the list is British Steel for Scunthorpe site, that could leave a £11.7m hole in the Treasury’s finances unless a buyer can be found.

Finally, even the British Secret Service can’t be that secret when it comes to business rates. Its HQ at Millbank is on the list at No 37 paying £9.065m to its Government colleagues down the road.

TOP 50 BUSINESS RATEPAYERS IN ENGLAND & WALES RATES PAYABLE 2019/20

1) Heathrow Airport Ltd, Hounslow -£117,955,934

2) Gatwick airport ltd, West Sussex – £30,441,600

3) Sellafield limited, Cumbria – £26,632,658

4) Sizewell B Power Station, Suffolk – £24,002,156

5) BA Engineering Base, Heathrow Airport – £22,421,960

6) Heysham 2 Power Station, Morecambe, Lancs – £19,474,560

7) Selfridges, Oxford Street, London – £17,407,280

8) Harrods, Brompton Road, London – £17,066,680

9) Vodafone optic telecommunications network England & Wales -£15,266,160

10) The Channel Tunnel (within the UK), Dover – £14,112,000

11) Manchester Airport, Manchester – £13,910,400

12) British Airways, Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport – £13,807,400

13) HSBC, Canada Square, London – £13,749,760

14) BA World Cargo Terminal, Heathrow Airport – £13,133,581

15) BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London – £12,953,280

16) BAA Stansted Airport, Essex – £12,136,320

17) JP Morgan, Bank Street, London – £12,114,880

18) Port of Felixstowe, Suffolk – £11,934,720

19) Home Office, Marsham Street, London – £11,894,800

20) British steel, Brigg Road, Scunthorpe, Lincs – £11,663,079

21) Esso Refinery, Fawley, Southampton – £11,168,640

22) Francis Crick Institute, Midland Road, London – £10,742,000

23) UBS, Broadgate, London-  £10,611,740

24) Drax power station, Selby, North Yorkshire – £10,546,802

25) St Pancras international station, London – £10,480,000

26) Goldman Sachs, Fleet Street, London – £10,447,750

27) Hinkley Point B Power Station, Somerset – £10,442,880

28) John Lewis, Oxford Street, London – £10,432,840

29) Credit Suisse, Cabot Square, London – £10,176,080

30) Citibank, Canada Square, London – £10,092,240

31) Google, Pancras Square, London – £9,400,560

32) The University of Manchester, Manchester – £9,318,960

33) Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London – £9,159,520

34) Hartlepool Power Station, Cleveland – £9,157,680

35) Barclays bank, Canary Wharf, London – £9,123,832

36) Port Talbot steelworks, Port Talbot – £9,081,440

37) The Security Service, Millbank, London – £9,065,200

38) The British Library, Euston Road, London* – £8,850,360

39) National Grid, Isle of Grain, Kent – £8,779,680

40) Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London – £8,666,960

41) Pembroke Power Station, Pwllcrochan, Pembroke – £8,651,040

42) Heysham 1 Power Station, Morecambe, Lancs’ – £8,426,880

43) Beaufort International, London Riverside, London – £7,791,880

44) Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, Lode Lane, Solihull – £7,706,160

45) KMPG, Canada Square, London – £7,629,440

46) Allen & Overy, Brushfield Street, London  -£7,598,000

47) PWC, Embankment Place, London – £7,529,880

48) Metropolitan Police, Empress State Building, Lillie Road – London £7,461,760

49) Linklaters, Silk Street, London – £7,226,140

50) Amazon, Worship Street, London – £7,157,840

*registered charity, eligible for 80% mandatory relief.

List compiled by Altus Group

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