Properties can be granted an exemption from the payment of business rates for certain periods if they are unoccupied and there are various other discounts and exemptions available.
If a property is empty the following types of exemption are available:
- If the property has a rateable value under £2,899 or the property is listed or the property is classified as land then an exemption can be applied for as long as the property is empty
- If the property has a rateable value of over £2,899 and is an industrial property then a six month period of exemption can be applied
- If the property is over £2,899 and is not industrial then there is a period of three months exemption
- In all cases the exemption applies to the property and so if the previous account holder has already used some of the empty exemption then the remaining amount of time is the maximum that can be applied. If all the period of exemption has been utilised then no further exemption is applicable, until the property has been occupied again for at least 6 weeks.
The discounts that apply will depend upon the property being occupied and are as follows:
- Small business rate relief is applicable where a property has a rateable value of under £15,000 and the liable party does not have any other occupied business properties in England. If they have any other business properties that have a rateable value of under £2,899 then as long as the sum total of all the properties is under £20,000 then they can apply for small business rate relief on one of the properties. The relief is 100 per cent for properties with a rateable value under £11,999. For those properties with a rateable value are between £12,000 and £14,999 there is a tapering of the relief and the discount ranges from 100% at £12,000 to zero at £14,999.
- For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £50,999 then the multiplier applied in calculating the rates payable is changed from 47.9p to 46.6p.
To apply for the relief or to discuss your eligibility for the relief please contact the Business Rates section on (01482) 394748.
The council is aware that some local businesses are being contacted by third parties concerning the new changes to Small Business Rate Relief, which take effect from April 2017. These companies will charge a fee for their services.
Businesses do not need to pay anyone to either check entitlement to business rate relief or to apply for business rate relief. The Council provides a free check of entitlement to businesses and there is no charge for the application process.
Please do not pay to have your entitlement checked or for applications to be made on your behalf.
If you think your business is entitled to any relief or exemption, please contact the Business Rates section on (01482) 394748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charitable, not for profit organisations and sports clubs
- A not for profit organisation can apply for discretionary relief
- Charitable organisations can apply for 80% mandatory relief for charities that are registered with the Charity Commission or are exempt from registration
- A registered charity can also apply for a discretionary ‘top up’ relief of up to 20%
- Community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can also apply for 80% mandatory relief if they are registered as a CASC with HMRC
- A CASC can also apply for a discretionary ‘top up’ relief of up to 20% on the same form
- A sports club that is not registered as a CASC, but is operated on a not for profit basis can also apply for discretionary relief.
If you wish to apply for any of the above reliefs please contact the business rates section on 01482 394748.
Rural Rate Relief is open to any businesses who fall within a designated rural settlement. They can apply for a mandatory 100 per cent relief if they are:
- a general store with a rateable value of under £8,500
- a post office with a rateable value of under £8,500
- a public house with a rateable value of under £12,500
- a petrol filling station with a rateable value of under £12,500
- a food store with a rateable value of under £8,500
- there is also a discretionary relief for other businesses which fall within a rural settlement and have a rateable value of under £16,500. They would need to complete a form and the level of relief would be determined by the answers given on that form.
Where a property is partly occupied, and a clearly defined area is going to be left empty for a short period of time for example up to six months, then the liable party can apply for a Section 44A discretionary relief. This relief is at the council's discretion, and all cases are considered on a case by case basis.
If the council decided to grant the relief we would then ask the Valuation Office Agency to provide a section 44A certificate to provide a split of the assessment between the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property A new bill based on the occupied part will then be calculated.
You can ask the council to consider hardship for your business if it is suffering from factors other than the general economic climate.
If you think your business is entitled to any relief or exemption, please contact the Business Rates section on (01482) 394748 or email: email@example.com .