Business Rate Relief and Reductions


Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%.

Properties with rateable values of £12,000 or below that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief. Those with rateable values between £12,001 and £14,999 will receive tapered relief.

How does the scheme work?

  • the scheme applies only to occupied property and relief can only be applied to one main property, subject to rateable value limits:
  • Rateable Values up to £12,000: The sole or main business property will be eligible for 100% relief of the charge that is applicable to the lower, 49.1p in the pound;
  • Rateable Values £12,001 to £14,999: The sole or main business property will be eligible for tapered SBR relief again on the basis of the charge that is applicable using the lower, 49.1p in the pound;
  • Rateable Values £15,000 to £50,999: The sole or main business property will be again be charged on the lower, 49.1p in the pound, but will it will NOT qualify for any SBR relief. This includes mainly shops, restaurants, cafés, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues.
  • if there is more than one business property: As long as the other properties have a rateable value of less than £2,899 and the total for all the other properties, including the main one, does not exceed £19,999, then the taxpayer will still qualify for SBR. However, SBR will only be applied on the main business property.
  • Rateable Values £51,000 and over: These properties will not be eligible for SBR relief and they will pay the higher rate poundage of 50.4p in the pound. This higher rate does include a small supplementary charge towards the cost of this new scheme.
  • if any other business rate relief is allowed: If a property receives charitable or rural rate relief, it will only continue to receive the relief it receives already.

You are reminded that by applying for SBR relief, you are confirming that you either only have one main business in England and/or you meet any of the first four points. Giving false information or knowingly making an application to obtain relief when you are not entitled to it is a criminal offence.

Apply for small business rate relief

View your billing online or register for an account.

Charitable relief

There are two types of Charitable Rate Relief - mandatory and discretionary. You can get up to 80% relief for mandatory and up to 100% relief for discretionary. You can apply if you meet any of the following:

Mandatory

  • a property that is in use by a charity or trustees for a charity and is used for charitable purposes.
  • an empty property where the ratepayer is a charity or trustee for a charity and the property will be used for charitable purposes in the future.

Discretionary

  • the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity and the property will mainly be used for charitable purposes in the future.
  • all or part of the property is in use for charitable purposes for one or more non-profit organisations.
  • all or part of the property is occupied for the purpose of a non-profit club, society, or other organisation.

Apply for charitable rate relief

Rural relief

    There are two types of Rural Rate Relief - mandatory and discretionary. You can get up to 100% relief off of the charge. You can apply if you meet the following:

    Mandatory

    • a post office or general store that is the only one in the community and has a rateable value of less than £8,500. The post office and general store can be in part use and can be combined.
    • a pub or petrol station that is the only one in the community and has a rateable value of less than £12,500.

    Discretionary

    This applies to a property that has a rateable value of less than £16,500 that is within the boundaries of a rural village. We may not allow the relief if we are not satisfied that the property is used for the benefit of the community.

    Rural village list

    These are the villages that currently have a population under 3,000 for the purpose of awarding Rural Rate Relief:

    List of villages
    Bicknor Boughton Bredhurst
    Broomfield Chart Sutton Collier Street
    Detling East Farleigh East Sutton
    Frinsted Harrietsham Hollingbourne
    Hucking Hunton Kingswood
    Langley Leeds Linton
    Malherbe Nettlestead Otham
    Otterden Platts Heath Stockbury
    Sutton Valence Teston Thurnham
    Ulcombe Warren Street West Farleigh
    Wichling Woodside Green Wormshill

    Apply for rural rate relief

    Other types of relief

    Retail, hospitality and leisure

    At the budget on 27 October 2021 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth almost £1.7 billion in 2022/23. This will support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands. The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

    Retail discount will be awarded automatically where the qualifying criteria are clearly satisfied.

    The cash caps apply at a group company level (holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and to organisations which, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, result in its being the holding company.

    Find further details of the discount and the cash caps on the GOV.UK website.

    You will need to inform the authority, on a self-assessment basis, if you are in breach of the cash caps. If you have exceeded the cash cap on other properties and wish to refuse to receive the expanded retail discount granted in relation to the premises to which this bill and letter relates, please contact us by email.

    Opting out

    You do have the option this year to refuse the expanded retail discount. If you wish to opt-out of the support, please email us.

    Further information on the discounts can be found on the GOV.UK website. If you have any queries or require assistance when you receive your bill, please email us.

    Empty Property

    You may be eligible for relief if your property is empty and unfurnished. You can receive 100% relief for the first three months the property is empty and unfurnished. If the property is industrial, for example a warehouse, you will receive the relief for six months. When the 100% relief period has ended you will need to pay the full amount.

    If property is a listed building or has a rateable value of less than £2,900 you won’t have to pay Business Rates on an empty property. Once your property is occupied the exemption will stop.

    Hardship Relief

    If you’re having trouble paying your business rates you can apply for Hardship Relief. This is given at our discretion, is only a short-term relief and will only be given if it is in the interest of the community and taxpayers of the borough.

    Part Occupied Property

    You can apply to pay less business rates if only part of your property is occupied. The unoccupied part must only be empty for a short time. We will ask the valuation officer for a certificate advising what the rateable value of the occupied part of your property is and you will only get charged for that part.

    When you apply for a part occupied property relief, you'll need to attach a plan showing the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property.

    Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief (SSB)

    The Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief was introduced in 2017 to help those ratepayers who were faced with higher bills as a result of the revaluation. The scheme ends on 31 March 2022, as a result a small number of ratepayers would face a jump to their full rates bill from 1 April 2022.

    At the budget on 27 October 2021 the government therefore announced that it would extend the current transitional relief scheme and the supporting small business scheme for one year to the end of the current revaluation cycle.

    The transitional relief scheme will restrict increases in bills to 15% for businesses with small properties (up to and including £20,000 rateable value) and 25% for medium properties (up to and including £100,000 rateable value).

    The supporting small business relief scheme will restrict increases in bills to 15% for businesses (or a cash value increase of £600 if greater).

    We have automatically identified those ratepayers who should receive this relief and have applied it to their bill. If you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please email us.

    COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

    COVID-19 has presented a significant and unprecedented challenge for businesses. Since the start of the pandemic the government’s response to support businesses has been of a similarly unprecedented scale. The government has provided over £400 billion of direct support to the economy during this financial year and last, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK through the pandemic. The government’s support has included making £16 billion available to provide business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties, given the direct impact of COVID-19 and the Government’s interventions on businesses in these sectors.

    On 25 March the government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

    Whilst we have determined our own scheme for the allocation of the funding received from the government, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has stated that, in order for us to receive the allocated funding, we must:

    • not award relief to ratepayers who for the same period of the relief either are or would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS),
    • not award relief to a hereditament for a period when it is unoccupied (other than hereditaments which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19, which should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief), and
    • direct their support towards ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.

    We have decided that where a ratepayer meets all of the relevant criteria, relief will be 30% of the 2021/22 liability after any other reliefs and reductions have been applied.

    Criteria:

    • the ratepayer is not eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount, the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS)
    • the ratepayer is not entitled to either Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief granted at 100%
    • the ratepayer is not entitled to mandatory relief (80%)
    • the hereditament is treated as occupied by us and the ratepayer must have been shown as in occupation on our records  10 December 2021 and continuously thereafter
    • the ratepayer confirms that they have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact
    • the ratepayer is not subject to subsidy control
    • the hereditament is not excluded, as per the section below.

    Excluded hereditaments:

    • financial services – banks, building societies, Insurance providers and brokers, accountancy, insolvency practitioners
    • Professional services – solicitors, architects, surveyors, planning consultants
    • Storage and distribution – warehouses, self-storage, haulage, couriers
    • Information, communications and technology – network and infrastructure providers, consultancy services
    • Public services – government agencies, NHS premises, rail operators, Royal Mail, housing providers, waste disposal
    • Education – private and public schools and colleges.

    The list of examples is not definitive.

    Our COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). However, for CARF there is an exemption for subsidies under the value of approximately £2,243,000 per economic actor (broadly speaking, for example, a holding company and its subsidiaries).

    Awards under the CARF scheme have been automatically awarded. However, if you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please email us.

    If you would like to see the policies for any of our schemes please email us.

    Exemptions

    Some land and property won’t have to pay business rates. These are:

    • Agricultural land and buildings
    • Fish farms
    • Places of religious worship
    • Sewers and properties belonging to drainage companies
    • Parks
    • Properties used for disabled people. For example training, welfare services, workshops
    • Air raid protection works
    • Swinging moorings
    • Road crossings over a river
    • Property in enterprise zones
    • Visiting forces

    To find out the definitions of each of the types of properties and land you can check out the Legislation website.

    Email our Business Rates Team. or call 01622 602230 if you think your property is exempt.