Who pays the biggest business rates bill in London?

Ever wondered who pays some of the biggest business rates bill in the UK? – maybe not, but it might be comforting to know it's not you, even if it feels like it sometimes.

As it happens, five Canary Wharf-based banks pay the highest business rates in London but it is actually a Government building that takes the No 1 slot for the Capital.

Citigroup, HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays and Credit Suisse each paid between £9.26m and £12.03m for the year 2014/15.

However, the Government is footing the biggest bill in business rates, paying £12.53m for the Home Office building in Whitehall.

The research – published in Estate Gazette – is based on figures from the VOA. It covers the top ten business rate payers in the Capital, for single tenanted buildings (this is not the firm's total liabilities) it also unearthed some quirkier ones such as what Arsenal pays, or the Queen, or London Zoo.

The VOA's figures on rateable value and subsequently business rates bills are calculated on an occupier – not building – basis. As a result, Number 1. Canada Square, or the Shard, two of the most high profile offices in London, do not make the top ten due to having multiple occupiers, thus splitting their bill.

It's rather ironic that the Government, which has been lambasted for perpetuating unfair business rates, ends up paying the largest bill in London, if not the UK.

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