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, cafes, 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

    Expanded Retail Discount

    In the Budget on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Expanded Retail Discount and the Nursery Discount are to be extended into 2021/2022.

    The discounts are set at:

    • 100% for 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, uncapped
    • 66% for 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022*

    *Expanded Retail Discount for 1 July 2021 to 31 March is capped at £2 million for businesses closed during the national lockdown starting 5 January 2021 and at £105,000 for businesses legally allowed to open (Nursery Discount is capped at £105,000 for all eligible businesses)

    If you received either discount in 2020/2021 we have automatically carried the discount forward.

    The cash caps apply at a Group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and also 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 cash caps at

    Expanded Retail Discount: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-expanded-retail-discount-2021-to-2022-local-authority-guidance

    Nursery Discount: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-nursery-childcare-discount-2021-to-2022-local-authority-guidance

    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 or the Nursery Discount granted in relation to the premises to which this bill and letter relates, please notify us in writing at businessrates@midkent.gov.uk

    OPTING OUT

    You do have the option this year to refuse the expanded retail discount or nursery discount.  If you wish to opt-out of the support please contact the business rates team on receipt of this letter.

    Further information on the discounts can be found via the following links:

    www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/retail-discount

    www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/nurseries-discount

    If you have any queries or require assistance when you receive your bill, please email businessrates@midkent.gov.uk

    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.

    Supporting Small Businesses

    This is available to ratepayers who've lost some or all of their small business rate or rural rate relief because their rateable value increased following the 2017 revaluation. It was introduced on 1 April 2017 to help phase-in large percentage increases for those affected.

    It limits any increase to £600 a year for up to five years. It'll be applied automatically each year the business is eligible for it. This could be every year for the five years or until the bill amount without it is reached.

    In the first year, any increase for ratepayers losing some or all of their small business rate or rural rate relief will be capped at £600. For years two to five, the bill will increase by no more than £600 per year. By year five, overall bills will have increased by £3,000.

    Should your property become empty or if you're entitled to mandatory relief for charities or community amateur sports clubs, you'll no longer be eligible for this and your bill will return to the full amount.

    We've automatically identified ratepayers who should receive this and have applied it to their bill.

    If you feel you qualify but it's not showing on your bill, please email our Business Rates Team.

    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.