Store owners have been advised to challenge business rates if they think they are paying too much.

The call comes as September's inflation measure, the Retail Price Index (RPI), which the government uses to calculate business rates increases, was revealed as 4.6% above the estimated 4.4%.

The higher rate will result in significantly increased business rates bills for retailers from April next year.

With some retailers facing a 22% hike in rates, there is serious concern that retailers' profitability, services and ability to create jobs will be hit.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said the current system for determining business rates was "broken" and called for a two-year freeze on the rate.

He also encouraged retailers to contact the Valuation Office Agency if they thought they were overpaying. "Gather evidence about why it has been miscalculated before submitting any appeals as you'll have a better chance of being successful," he said. "Evidence could include scenarios such as if there are a high proportion of empty shops in the area, or if you have been paying a higher rate than neighbouring properties."

He also advised retailers to investigate rate relief schemes in their areas to see if they qualified.

The British Retail Consortium is also lobbying the government to come up with an alternative method of calculation. It suggests using the Consumer Price Index, as the government does for pensions, or using the 12-month average RPI rate from October 2009 to September 2010 to better iron out inflation rate volatility.

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