Non-Domestic Rates - Business Rates Relief

Overview

Business rates relief is a discount that is given to certain eligible properties in England. The discount will be decided by the local authority. NB. rates relief is handled differently in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Transitional relief and exempted buildings and empty buildings relief is automatically applied by the local authority. For a different type of relief you will need to contact your local authority to see if you are eligible.

Small business rate relief

To apply for small business rate relief you will need to apply to your local authority.

If your business property's rateable value is less than £15,000.00 and your business only uses one property (you may be eligible if you use more) you will be eligible for small business rate relief. You will be entitled to the following:

  • If your property has a rateable value of less than £12,000.00 you will not pay business rates
  • If your property has a rateable value of between £12,001.00 and £15,000.00 the relief rate will go down gradually from 100% to 0%

If you obtain a second property, you will continue to get any existing relief on your main property for twelve months. You will continue to be entitled to relief on your main property if the following applies:

  • None of your other properties have a rateable value of more than £2,899.00
  • The total rateable value of all your properties is no more than £20,000.00 (£28,000.00 in London)

Help for small businesses that are not eligible for small business rate relief

If your property is in England and has a rateable value below £51,000, the local authority will calculate your bill using the small business multiplier, which is lower than the standard one. This will still be the case even if you do not get small business rate relief.

The small business multiplier is 49.1p and the standard multiplier is 50.4p from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

N.B The multipliers may be different in the city of London.

Rural rate relief

If your business is situated in a rural area which has a population of less than 3,000 you could be eligible for rural rate relief. If your business is in an eligible area you will not have to pay business rates providing that one of the following apply:

  • You are the only shop or post office with a rateable value of up to £8,500.00
  • You are the only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500.00

Contact your local authority for further details and to make an application if you are eligible.

Charitable rate relief

You can apply for a charitable rate relief of up to 80% if you are a charity or community amateur sports club and the property is used for charitable purposes. You might also be able to apply for discretionary relief giving you 100% charitable rate relief. You will need to contact your local authority to apply.

If you are not eligible but you are a non-profit or voluntary organisation you should still contact your local authority as you may be eligible for discretionary relief.

Enterprise zones

You may be eligible to receive up to £55.000.00 a year over a period of five years, if you are starting up or relocating to an enterprise zone. Visit: https://enterprisezones.communities.gov.uk/ to find your enterprise zone and to see whether it offers business rates relief, and information on how and when to apply.

Exempted buildings relief

There are certain properties that are automatically exempt from business rates, but there are strict legal requirements for these exemptions.

You may not have to pay business rates for the following types of properties:

  • Agricultural land and buildings, this includes fish farms
  • Buildings that are used for training and welfare of disabled people
  • Buildings that are registered for public religious worship or church halls

If you think your property should be exempt and you are located in England, you will need to contact the Valuation Office Agency. In Wales there are different ways to report exemptions.

Empty buildings

The rules are that you don't pay business rates on properties that are empty for up to three months, after which time most businesses have to pay the full rate. An extension to empty property relief may be given to the following properties:

  • Industrial premises, such as warehouses, are exempt for a further three months
  • Listed buildings, until they are reoccupied again
  • Buildings that have a rateable value under £2,900.00 and until they’re reoccupied again
  • Properties which are owned by charities and only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • Community amateur sports clubs buildings and only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club

You should inform the local authority when your property becomes vacant.

Hardship relief

To apply for hardship relief you would need to contact your local authority and they must be satisfied that:

  • Without the hardship relief you will be in financial difficulty; and
  • It will be in the interests of the local people to give you hardship relief

Transitional relief

If your business property is in England and the rates go up or down by a certain amount you may be eligible for transitional relief. The purpose of the relief is to put a limit on how much your bill can change each year as a result of revaluation. If you are eligible the local authority will adjust your bill automatically.

Both your property’s rateable value and whether your bill is increasing or decreasing as a result of revaluation are factors that determine how much your bill can change from one year to the next. Once your bill reaches the full amount set by revaluation, you will stop getting transitional relief.

The business rates year is from 1 April to 31 March the following year.

Rateable value if your bill is increasing

Rateable value

2017 to 2018

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 5%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 12%

Over £100,000 = 42%


2018 to 2019

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 7.5%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 17.5%

Over £100,000 = 32%


2019 to 2020

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 10%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 20%

Over £100,000 = 49%


2020 to 2021

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 15%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 25%

Over £100,000 = 16%


2021 to 2022

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 15%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 26%

Over £100,000 = 6%

Rateable value if your bill is decreasing

Rateable value

2017 to 2018

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 20%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 10%

Over £100,000 = 4.1%


2018 to 2019

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 30%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 15%

Over £100,000 = 4.6%


2019 to 2020

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 35%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 20%

Over £100,000 = 5.9%


2020 to 2021

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 55%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 25%

Over £100,000 = 5.8%


2021 to 2022

Up to £20,000 (£28,000 in London) = 55%

20,001 (28,001 in London) to £99,999 = 25%

Over £100,000 = 4.8%


If you have received a transitional value certificate, the transitional certificate value will be used in the business rates calculation, rather than the usual rateable value. If you disagree with the certificate value you should speak to the Valuation Office Agency.

Retail discount

The eligibility criteria to qualify for a retail discount for your business is as follows:

  • Your business is a cafe, restaurant, shop, bar or pub
  • You business is located in England
  • Your business has a rateable value of less than £51,000.00

You apply for a retail relief discount at your local authority and if eligible they will apply up to a third off your business rates bill. In addition you will be able to apply and receive a retail discount on top of any other business rate relief that you are entitled to.

N.B. The retail discount is available for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 tax years.

Contacts

Valuation Office Agency

www.gov.uk/contact-voa

T (England): 03000 501 501

T (Wales): 03000 505 505


Gov.uk

www.gov.uk/find-local-council

(to locate your local authority)