Business rates reductions
Unoccupied property rating
Empty industrial properties receive an exemption from rates for 6 months before the full rates become due.
An empty property held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for charitable purposes, or that is held by a community amateur sports club and appears likely to be next used for the purposes of the club, has a zero rating liability.
Other properties that are exempt are where:
- the building is listed
- occupation is prohibited by law
- the rateable value is less than £2,600
- the person entitled to possession is a personal representative of a deceased person
- the owner is a company subject to a winding up order, or a company in liquidation
- the owner is a company in administration
Small business rate relief
This is available at 50% for ratepayers with a rateable value up to £6,000, with the relief declining in percentage terms on a sliding scale until it is 0% at £12,000.
In budget announcements in March 2010, March 2011 and November 2011, the Government amended the scheme for a temporary period between October 2010 and March 2013. Relief will be 100% for ratepayers with a rateable value up to £6,000 with relief declining in percentage terms on a sliding scale until it is 0% at £12,000.
For more information on small business rate relief go to the Business Link website.
Small business rate relief is only available if:
- the ratepayer has 1 property, or
- 1 main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,600
The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all properties mentioned in (b), must be under £18,000 outside London or £25,500 within London.
The scheme is funded through a supplement on the rate bills of those businesses not eligible for the relief. The supplement is built into the standard non-domestic rating multiplier. However, ratepayers of business properties with rateable values between £12,000 and £18,000 (£25,500 within London) do not have to contribute towards the relief and will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier.
You can apply for the relief up to 2012 / 2013. If a ratepayer ceases to be eligible on a day during the year in question, the relief will cease on that day.
Information on the latest news can be found on the Communitites and Local Government website.
Download the application form for small business rates relief:
Help with business rate bills
To help businesses manage their cash flow during the downturn, the Government has put in place a business rates deferral scheme.
To be automatically eligible for deferral ratepayers must satisfy the following conditions:
- they must make an application for deferral to their local authority on or before 31 March 2013
- they must not have discharged their 2012 / 2013 rates liability in full or be due to discharge their 2012 / 2013 liability in full within 21 days of making their application
- they must not have lost the right to pay their 2012 / 2013 rates bill by instalments by or on the date of service of the application
Download the application form for the business rates deferral:
Charitable and discretionary relief
Charities, including registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the bill. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
Authorities also have discretion to give relief on all or part of any rates bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies.
The present guidelines for awarding discretionary relief are as follows:The present guidelines for awarding discretionary relief are as follows:
- Where a charity is in receipt of 80% charitable relief the Council will not award a further 20% discretionary relief (except in the cases of properties occupied by local Scouts and Guides organizations, village halls which provide a Post Office facility and hospices within the district)
- The Council will give 80% Discretionary Relief up to a maximum rateable value of £9,000 in approved cases. In order to qualify the organization should not be established or conducted for profit and, in the case of a Sports or Leisure Club should provide facilities to the public with an emphasis on a Youth policy and activities which might otherwise be provided by the Council
The Council can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period.
Download the application form for business rate discount for charities and similar organisations:
Rate relief for businesses in rural areas
Certain types of business in rural villages, with a population below 3,000 may qualify for rate relief of 50%. Businesses that qualify for this relief are the sole general store, sole post office or food shop in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8,500 and the sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,000. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such property.
The local council may decide to give up to 100% relief to any other business in such a rural village, with a rateable value of up to £16,500, if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council tax payers.
Download the application form for village shop rate relief: