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Business Rates Reductions

 

Small Business Rate Relief - 2017 to 2022

The Governments rates relief scheme was introduced to help small businesses.

Relief is based on the Rateable Value (RV) of your business in the relevant valuation period.

Who is relief available for?

Relief is available for businesses who occupy either:

  • One business property in England with a rateable value of less that £51,000

  • One main business property and other additional business properties, providing the additional properties have individual rateable values under £2,900 and the combined rateable value of all the properties is under £20,000.

Unoccupied properties and properties in receipt of charitable relief cannot qualify for small business rate relief (SBRR).

How much relief is available?

The amount of relief awarded depends on the rateable value of the property as follows:

  • Rateable value £12,000 or less – 100% relief.

  • Rateable value £12,001 and £14,999 – will receive a decrease on a sliding scale by an estimated 1% for every £30 of rateable value

  • Rateable value less than £51,000 – liability is calculated using the small business multiplier.

Note that from 14th February 2014, ratepayers receiving SBRR will retain it for one year if they take on an additional property that would have previously resulted in the loss of the relief.

Any relief awarded will automatically be shown on the bills.

How to apply

To apply for rate relief, download and complete the SBRR claim form and return it to the address stated on the form.

Change in circumstances

It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement when making a claim for business rate relief.

You must notify the Council of any change in circumstances within 4 weeks of the day after the change occurred.

These changes include:

  • An increase in rateable value of another property occupied by the ratepayer outside the area of the Council granting the relief

  •  Taking occupation of another property

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is mandatory and set at 80% of the full rate bill (or the transitional bill if applicable). 

Community Amateur sports clubs can also qualify for 80% mandatory relief provided they are registered with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club, known as CASC's.

For both of the above, the Council has the discretion to award up to 20% discretionary relief.

Bodies not established or conducted for profit whose main objectives are charitable or otherwise philanthropic or religious, or are concerned with social welfare, education, science, literature, the fine arts or recreation can be awarded up to 100% relief.

Complete a claim form

* If you do not already have Acrobat Reader software, you can download this here

Empty Properties 

Unoccupied properties may be liable for empty property rates. Rates are charged at 100% of the full rate bill (or transitional bill if applicable). Liability begins after the property has been empty for three months. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties.

Once a property has been empty for three months (or six months if it is industrial) it will be liable for a full charge, unless it qualifies for a an exemption e.g.:

  • a listed building

  • occupation is prohibited by law

  • the rateable value is less than £2600 (£2900 from 1st April 2017)

  • it is subject to a preservation notice

Removing the Property from Rating

If, for example, a property is in such a poor condition that it cannot be economically repaired, the valuation officer (see below) may consider that it should be taken out of the rating list altogether.

Partial Occupation

If a property is only partly occupied, the Council has discretion to request that the valuation officer (see below) apportions the property’s rateable value between its occupied and unoccupied parts.

At present, generally, the empty property rate applies to the empty part of an apportioned building and the occupied business rate applies to the occupied part. The empty part will receive a complete exemption from rates for the first 3 months is it empty (or, for industrial property, the first 6 months). After the initial rate-free period expires, in most cases the appointment will cease to have effect and the occupied business rate will apply to the whole property.

Full details of other exemptions can be obtained from the Business Rates section

Useful information on business rate reductions are available from this link

Rates Liability Appeals

The changes in rate liability arising from this amendment to the law are not in themselves grounds for appeal. However, if you disagree with the rateable value that appears in the rating list for your property, you may challenge it by making a “proposal” against it to your local valuation office. You can contact the local valuation office or Council for further information about the arrangements for making proposals.

Contact details for the local Valuation Office:

Valuation Office Agency
2 Broadway
Broad Street
Birmingham
B15 1BG
Tel: 0300 050 1501
Email: westmidlandsgroup.vo@voa.gsi.gov.uk