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Billing of business rates

For information on rateable values, checking your balance, obtaining help with your business rates, mobile businesses running a business from your home, and how to report business rates fraud.

What are Business Rates?

Business rates are collected by local authorities and they are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs:

Valuation Office Agency (external website - opens in new window)

This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1st April 2017, this date was set as 1st April 2015.  

The local authority calculates the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by one of the two multipliers. The standard multiplier is 47.9p for 2017/18 for properties with a rateable value of above £51,000. The small business multiplier is 46.6p for 2017/18 for properties with a rateable value below £51,000. 

If the new rateable valuation would mean a significant change in your rates bill, the Government has put in place a transitional scheme which will phase in the increase or decrease in your bill. Limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill and are referred to as 'Transitional Adjustment'.  

What changes were announced in the Spring 2017 budget?

We are still awaiting the full details of how these new changes will operate. In brief they are as follows:

  • All pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,00 will receive a discount of £1,000 for the year 2017/18
  • For ratepayers whose rateable values have increased on 1 April 2017 and were in receipt or either small business rates relief or rural rate relief on 31 March 2017 will have their increase capped at £600 per annum for the next 5 years.

We are awaiting clarification on how the changes will affect your annual liability, and once this is received our software provider will be able to update our computer systems to allow us to amend your annual liability. As soon as we have received this clarification from central government we will be able to re-issue you with a further business rate demand which will adjust your yearly business rate liability in line with the Budget announcement. 

A further discretionary relief scheme for hard hit cases was announced. This scheme was announced to help businesses with the steepest increases in their business rates bill as a result of the 2017 evaluation. Further information can be found here.

Do any types of organisations qualify for a reduction?

Charities or organisations that are not established or conducted for profit may be entitled to relief. Their purpose must be charitable for example philanthropic, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or fine arts and the business premises must be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Contact the Business Rates team on (01482) 394748 or call into one of our customer service centres

Can I get any help with my business rates?

Unoccupied properties

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.

Occupied properties

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  business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk.

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 properties

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.

Part-occupied properties

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.

Hardship

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: business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk .

Do I pay rates if I run a business from home?

If part of the property is set aside, modified and only used for business purposes then business rates may be payable for that part.

The council tax for the remaining domestic part of the property may be adjusted accordingly. Each case is determined by the Valuation Office Agency.

The Valuation Office Agency website can provide further information:

Valuation Office Agency (external website)

Do I pay rates if my business is mobile?

No, business rates are only assessed on property that is used permanently for business purposes, however, if you have a license to occupy a temporary site permanently, then business rates are payable.

If you need any further information please get in touch by:

Email: business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk

What is the discretionary revaluation support scheme?

The Government have provided funding to local authorities to help businesses that have had an increase in their business rates following the revaluation that came into force on 1 April 2017.

Which businesses will receive this help?

The relief will provide support to those businesses that are facing the steepest increases in their business rates bill as a result of the 2017 revaluation and to ratepayers occupying lower value premises. These businesses will be contacted by the council and invited to apply.

If you have not been contacted by the council, you may still be eligible to receive some relief. 

Please contact the business rates team on (01482) 394748 for an application form.

The council will need an application form to be completed which will confirm the eligibility for relief and to ensure that state aid limits will not be breached.

How long will the help be available for?

The Government has made available a discretionary fund over four years. The amount available reduces significantly each year from £0.572 million in 2017-18 to £0.016 million in 2020-21. As the funding decreases substantially across the four years, any award will be for a maximum of one year and a new application will need to be made for each financial year up to 2020/21.

How will the relief be awarded?

Awards under this policy will be determined after all other eligible reliefs have been applied, and will be backdated to 1 April 2017.

The amount of relief awarded to any ratepayer may be recalculated in the event of a change to the rating list for the property concerned.

The policy that was agreed by the Cabinet, which outlines the council’s Discretionary Revaluation Support Scheme:

Discretionary Revaluation Support Scheme (pdf 252kb opens in new window)

How do I report someone I believe is committing business rates fraud?

Your can report suspected fraud by any of the following methods:

CON_TAB
 Get in touch
Phone
(01482) 394949 (24 hour hotline)
Text message
07786 200850
Email
reportfraud@eastriding.gov.uk
Post
Fraud Investigation and Enforcement Team
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
Beverley
HU17 9BA


Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2018