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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
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|
|Broomfield||Chart Sutton||Collier Street|
|Detling||East Farleigh||East Sutton|
|Ulcombe||Warren Street||West Farleigh|
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.
The 23/24 tax year offers 75% off your business rates bills if you are eligible.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The 2023 revaluation will see reductions, increases or no change in bills. The transitional relief scheme will restrict increases in bills from 1 April 2023 to 5% for businesses with small properties, up to and including £20,000 rateable value, 15% for medium properties, up to and including £100,000 rateable value and 30% on large properties with over £100,000 rateable value.
For further information can be found on GOV.UK.
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.
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
- 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.