Business Rate Relief
There are several rate reliefs you can apply for to reduce your Business Rates:
Small Business Rate relief
If your business has a rateable value (RV) of less than £12,000, you won’t have to pay Business Rates.
If it has an RV of between £12,000 and £14,999, we can reduce your bill by 1% for each £30 below £15,000.
If you use more than one property, you can get Small Business Rate relief if the RV of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the total RV of all of them is less than £20,000. We will award the relief on the property with the highest RV.
If your property has an RV below £18,000 we will work out your Business Rates bill using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. We do this even if your business uses more than one property.
Rural Rate relief
You could get mandatory rural rate relief if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000. You can get 100% off your business rates if your business is:
the only village shop or post office, with an RV of up to £8,500
the only public house or petrol station, with an RV of up to £12,500
If your business cannot get mandatory rate relief, we can still consider Discretionary Rural Rate Relief if the premises have a rateable value of less than £16,500. We will treat each business on its merits looking at the contribution and importance of the business to the local community.
Charity and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) rate relief
Charities and CACSs can get their bills reduced by 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.
We can top up the mandatory 80% with up to 20% Discretionary Rate Relief.
Discretionary Rate relief
We can award up to 100% Discretionary Rate Relief to not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and Community Interest Companies.
In exceptional circumstances we can award relief to businesses it considers important to the local community that are suffering exceptional hardship. This is sometimes called 'Section 49 relief'.
Local Business Rate Discount
We have the discretion to grant a Local Business Rate Discount for a fixed period to any ratepayer who does not meet the criteria for any other form of rate relief. We will consider applications on the individual merits of the case.
We can reduce Business Rates for office space used by local newspapers by up to £1,500 in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Empty Property Rates
You don’t have to pay Business Rates on empty buildings for three months. After this time, you will have to pay full Business Rates.
Some properties can get extended Empty Property rate relief:
industrial buildings such as warehouses can get an extra three months
listed buildings - until they are reoccupied
buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 - until they are reoccupied
properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs – but only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
properties where occupation is prohibited by law
properties of companies in administration or liquidation
The Government has introduced a temporary measure for unoccupied 'new builds' from 1 October 2013. We will use our discretionary powers to exempt unoccupied new builds from business rates for up to 18 months, up to state aid limits, where the property comes on to the list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial three or six month mandatory exemption.
If you are only using part of a building, you may be able to claim rate relief known as 'Section 44a relief'. We can award this relief if the 'part occupation' is for a short time only and where:
the building is partly occupied because you are phasing full occupation over a period of time; or
part occupation is temporary due to remedial building or refurbishment works, fire damage or similar.
If your property is not capable of occupation because it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired, you can ask the Valuation Office Agency to take it off the rating list altogether.
Revenues and Benefits Service
West Somerset House
Telephone: 01643 703704