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Business Rates - Reductions And Reliefs

Some business may be entitled to business rate relief under certain circumstances.

Unoccupied Property Rating and Partly Occupied Property Relief

Business Rates are not payable in the first three months a property is empty, this is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order.

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have the discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

Exemptions from unoccupied property rates include listed buildings and small properties with a rateable value below £2600 from 1 April 2011.

Exemptions to the charge

After the initial three or six month free period expires, the empty property will be liable for 100% of the occupied business rate unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • The property is held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for charitable purposes,
  • The property is held by a community amateur sports club and it appears when next in use it will be for the purpose of the club,
  • The rateable value of the property is less than £2,600 (with effect from 1 April 2011),
  • The owner is prohibited by law from occupying the property,
  • The owner is prohibited by action taken by the crown, or any other local or public authority from occupying the property,
  • The property is included in the schedule of monuments compiled under s.1 of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979,
  • The owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person,
  • If the following insolvency or debt administration situation exists:
    • A bankruptcy order within parts 8 to 11 of the Insolvency Act 1986,
    • The owner is a trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies,
    • The owner is a company subject to a winding up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986,
    • The owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator or administrator under s112 or s145 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Small Business Rate Relief

Small Business Rate Relief is applicable if you only occupy one premises.  If the rateable value is below £18,000 your bill will automatically be calculated using the smaller multiplier.

If your rateable value is £6,000 or below your bill will be reduced by 100% until 31 March 2016 if it is the only business premises that you occupy.

If your rateable value is between £6,001 and £11,999, inclusive, the small business rate multiplier is used and your bill is reduced on a sliding scale - from 100% at £6000 to 0% at £12,000. For example if your rateable value is £9,000 the bill will be reduced by 50%

If your rateable value is between £12,000 and £18,000 (£25,499 in London) only the small business rate multiplier is used.

If you have more than one business property, the relief is only available if the rateable value of each of the other properties is below £2,600. If this is the case the rateable values of all the properties will be combined and the relief is applied to the main property based on the total rateable value. However, from 1 February 2014 if an additional property is taken on, small business rates relief remains applicable for another 12 months.

If a ratepayer ceases to be eligible on a day during the year in question, the relief will cease on that day.

Downloadable: pdf icon Table of rates payable by businesses claiming Small Business Rates Relief 2016-2017 [37kb]

Complete an online application for Small Business Rate Relief here:

Retail Relief

The Retail Relief Scheme that has been in place to support retail providers in recent years will not extend beyond 31st March 2016.

It was the intention of the government was that the Retail Relief Scheme would only operate for a limited period and in his Autumn 2105 Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the scheme would not extend beyond 31st March 2016.

Charity and Registered Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the Charity or Club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club. We have discretion to give relief on the rest of the bill.

To apply please complete this form: Application for Mandatory / Discretionary Rate Relief for Charitable and other Non-profit Making Organisations.

Not for Profit Organisation Relief

Relief for Non Profit Making Organisations is at our discretion. The application form includes extra information about the criteria your organisation will need to fulfil to make a successful application

To apply please complete this form: Application for Mandatory / Discretionary Rate Relief for Charitable and other Non-profit Making Organisations.

Hardship Relief

At our discretion, we may be able to apply Hardship Relief in special circumstances.

Please contact us to discuss this, see contact details below.

Transitional Relief for Business Rates

Over a million properties throughout England and Wales saw their Business Rates come down as a result of the general revaluation in April 2010. However, for some business properties the amount of Business Rates they have to pay went up.

In July 2009, the Government consulted on proposals for the transitional relief scheme for the 2010 revaluation. The Government has put in place a £2 billion transitional relief scheme to limit the impact on businesses facing an increase.

Normally, as part of the general revaluation, property values change a lot. Transitional relief arrangements help to phase in the affect of these changes by limiting the bill increase. To help pay for the limits on bill increases, there is also a limit on properties where revaluation leads to a reduced bill.

Transitional relief only applies to a property shown on the rating list at the time of a revaluation and is automatically awarded and applied to bills each year.

If there are any changes to a property after 1 April 2010, transitional relief will not normally apply to the part of the bill that relates to an increase in rateable value due to those changes.

If you are entitled to transitional relief, this will be shown on the front of your bill.

For further information see, GOV.UK - Business rates relief, Sect 3 Transitional rate relief.

New Build Empty Property Relief

All newly built empty commercial property completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 could be eligible for an exemption from empty property rates for the first 18 months, up to the state aid limits. 

Regulations already provide that no business rates are payable for the first three months that a property is empty (or six months in the case of industrial property).  If a newly built property is still empty at the end of the three or six month period, the property can benefit from a further exemption for up to 18 months, subject to state aid limits.  The property does not have to be continuously unoccupied to qualify, and separate empty periods will be allowed for the first 18 months, as long as the property was empty when first rated.    

For further information see GOV.UK - Business rates new build empty property relief

Reoccupation Relief

Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016  a 50% discount (subject to state aid limits) can be granted for a maximum of 18 months for businesses moving into empty retail premises that have been empty for at least 12 months.  The property must previously have been used for retail purposes but the reoccupation does not necessarily need to be of a retail nature.    

For further information see GOV.UK - Business rates reoccupation relief.

 

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