New reliefs available from 2017
In 2017 the Chancellor announced three new schemes of relief to support businesses,
- Supporting Small Businesses;
- New Business Rate Relief for pubs; and
- New Discretionary Relief Scheme
New applications for discretionary reliefs should be made as soon as possible. Applications can only be considered for the previous financial year if they are received within 6 months of the previous financial year ending and there is sufficient time to enable a decision to be made.
Supporting small businesses
Those ratepayers entitled to this relief have been identified and their bills have been adjusted accordingly.
Business rate relief for pubs
Since April 2017, the Government has provided for a relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value below £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs can receive a £1,000 discount on their bill. If you received the discount for 2017/18, it was automatically awarded for the 2018/19 rates bill, providing your circumstances had not changed. This rate relief ended on 31 March 2019, however, applications can still be considered for the rate relief up to 30 September 2019.
If you haven’t received rate relief for your pub, but your pub;
- is an occupied property with a rateable value of less than £100,000;
- is open to the general public;
- allows drinking without the purchase of food;
- allows free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided; and
- permits drinks to be purchased at a bar,
you'll need to download a pub relief application form and return it to us as soon as possible.
Business Rates Relief Scheme (revaluation)
Claims are invited from businesses that are facing an increase in their bills following revaluation, and;
- the rateable value of the property for 2017/18 is less than £200,000; and
- the increase in the 2017/18 bill for the property was more than 12.5 per cent compared to the 2016/17 bill (before reliefs); and
- the ratepayer must have been in continual occupation from before 1 April 2017.
You can download revaluation relief scheme application form.
In addition, more support will be provided to:
- ratepayers or localities that face the most significant increases in bills; and
- ratepayers occupying lower value properties.
All applications will be considered on their own merits in an open and transparent manner.
When considering applications, the Council will be mindful of the following matters:
- Whether the ratepayer, business or organisation provides any benefits to the city, the community and/or the council tax payer, such as increasing employment or improving amenities available to the local community.
- Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and whether the award could have an anti-competitive effect on other businesses in the city.
- Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and the impact of these establishments on neighbourhoods and communities. This is especially relevant for betting shops, payday loan shops and pawnbrokers.
- The individual merits of each application taking into account whether the business is supporting the Council’s wider objectives.
- The number of employees based in the hereditament on which relief is being sought.
- The scale of the organisation and whether they are a national/multi-national concern as opposed to a local concern.
- Whether the business property has empty or occupied periods.
- Whether the Council determines that an intermittent occupation tax mitigation/avoidance scheme is in operation.
The Council will not grant any relief where a business is determined to be having a detrimental impact on neighbourhoods and communities. This is especially relevant for off licences, take away and late night food establishments, pubs, bars, and shisha bars where applications will be considered in the context of the impact on the neighbourhood and community.
Applications for relief will be considered by the Council on receipt and discounts will be applied to accounts later in the year with any awards backdated to 1 April 2017. Payment should be made in accordance with the current Business Rates bill until advised otherwise.
Reliefs and exemptions
Occupied premises may be eligible for certain reliefs including:
- Mandatory rate relief
- Discretionary relief
- Small business rate relief
- Hardship relief
- Local discounts
- Re-occupation relief
- Retail relief
When a non-domestic property becomes empty, there is no charge for the first three months, or six months in the case of industrial property. After this, the empty property will be charged at the full business rates. There are some exemptions from this such as listed buildings and properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900.
If only parts of your property are unoccupied, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may be able to value the unoccupied property separately. The rule about charging after three or six months will then apply to the unoccupied property. If the VOA can't value the unoccupied parts separately, you may still be able to claim some relief under Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which deals with relief on part-occupied properties.
Other sources of support
Business and inward investment have a big part to play in the successful future of our city and we also support business directly though our partners. The Business Growth Hub provides information about support for business.