Sheltered housing consultation

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Billing of business rates

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.

If you would like to apply for this type of relief please get in touch using the 'contact us' option on the right hand side of the page.

Alternatively contact the Business Rates team on (01482) 394748 or call in to one of our customer service centres.

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Can I find out rateable values for business premises?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for allocating the correct rateable value for business premises in England and Wales.

You can check rateable values for all properties in England and Wales, including your own, on the VOA website.

Valuation Office Agency (external website)

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Can I check my balance online?

You can check your balance online by entering your eight digit business rates account reference number using our online balance enquiry facility . Your reference number can be found at the top right of your Business Rates bill.

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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 £2,600 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 £2,600 and is an industrial property then a six month period of exemption can be applied
  • If the property is over £2,600 and is not industrial then there is a period of three months exemption
  • In all cases the exemption goes with the property and so if the previous account holder has already had some of the empty exemption then the remaining amount of time is the maximum that can be applied. If the property has already had all the period of exemption 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 £18,000 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 £2,600 then as long as the sum total of all the properties is under £18,000 then they can apply on one of the properties. The relief is 50 per cent for properties under £6,000 in rateable value and for those whose rateable values are between £6,001 and £12,000 they lose 2% of the discount for every 120 extra rateable value. For properties over £12,000 and below £18,000 then the only reduction is that the multiplier applied in calculating the rates payable is changed from 0.497 to 0.484. To apply for the relief or to discuss you 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.

    As yet, full details of the new Small Business Rates Relief scheme are not available.

    Some businesses have already been contacted by companies offering to obtain Small Business Rate Relief for them. These companies will charge a fee for this service.

    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 applications 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

  • If they are a not for profit organisation they can apply for relief by completing a form and they will be granted the level of relief that is determined by the answers they give on the form.
  • In the case of charities they will receive an automatic 80% mandatory relief from rates as long as they are a registered charity or are exempt from registration with the Charity Commission but are a charity. To apply for this discount please contact the Business Rates section on 01482 394748. They can then apply for the remaining 20% relief by completing a form. The amount of extra relief granted depends on the answers given on that form.
  • In the case of community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) they can also obtain an automatic 80 per cent relief if they are registered as a CASC with HMRC. They can then apply for the remaining 20% relief by completing a form. The amount of extra relief granted depends on the answers given on that form.
  • If they are not registered but they are a sporting organisation which is not for profit they can also apply through the sports development section for relief off the rates by completing a form that is assessed by the sports development team.

Rural properties

Rural Rate Relief is open to any businesses who fall within a designated rural settlement. They can apply for a mandatory 50 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
  • in all the above cases they must also be the only business premises of their type in the rural settlement and they can apply for an extra amount of relief by completing a form the answers to which determine how much if any extra relief they will receive
  • 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.

Retail properties

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement on 5 December 2013 that it will provide a relief of up to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less in 2014-15 and £1,500 in 2015-16.

Retail relief can now only be applied for the year 2015-16, please contact the Business Rates section to apply for the relief or to discuss you eligibility telephone 01482 394748.

Awards such as Retail Relief are required to comply with the EU law on State Aid. This means that you must confirm that any State Aid you receive, including any other Relief you are being granted for premises, does not exceed 200,000 which is the State aid De Minimis level under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

If you believe that any state aid you receive, plus any Business Rates relief will exceed 200,000 then you MUST contact us on (01482) 394748 as soon as possible. In terms of declaring previous De Minimis aid, we are only interested in public support which is De Minimis aid (State Aid received under other exemptions or public support which is not State Aid does not need to be declared).

Re-occupation relief

This is a temporary measure to encourage re-occupation of empty former retail premises, and you would be eligible if the premises:

  • was previously used for retail purposes
  • was empty for at least 12 months prior to re-occupation.

A 50% discount of Business rates liability  (after any mandatory and other discretionary reliefs)  for 18 months will be applicable if moving into the premises between 1/4/14 and 31/3/16. It is now only possible to apply for re-occupation relief back to 1/4/15 due to the legal time limits applicable to the relief.

Once the property has been re-occupied it does not have to be used for retail. It can be used for  any use, with the exception of:

  • betting shops
  • payday loan shops
  • pawn brokers.

There is no rateable value limit to eligibility, and the reduction is subject to state aid de minimis rules.

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. 


There is also a hardship relief which is for any business suffering from something other than then the general economic climate. To apply for this relief please write to the Business Rates section outlining the reasons for your application and a copy of your accounts to support your application each case is decided based on the information given. The decision is based on what the council tax payers would want to invest money in as the money comes directly from the council budget.

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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)

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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. Please  should you need more information.

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Where can I find an electronic copy of the financial information supplied with my annual bill?

The documents below are normally issued with your annual council tax or business rates bill.

Humberside Police Authority leaflet (pdf 603kb opens in new window)

Humberside Fire Authority leaflet (pdf 5mb opens in new window)

A guide to council tax (pdf 219kb opens in new window) 

Business rates -Explanatory  notes (pdf 121kb opens in new window)

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