Can I reduce my business rates?
Within the business rates system there are a number of reliefs allowed by the legislation.
Charities are entitled to relief from business rates on any non-domestic property that is either wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes, including charity shops. Relief is given at 80% of the full charge. Councils also have discretion to remit all or part of any rates bill in respect of property occupied by certain bodies not established or conducted for profit.
Help for Rural Areas
The occupier of a general store, post office, petrol station or public house in a settlement appearing in a billing authority's rural settlement list can qualify for rate relief if it is the only such general store, post office, petrol station or public house in that settlement.
Additionally, the rateable value must be £8,500 or less for a general store or post office and £12,500 or less for a petrol station or public house. Relief is given at 50% of the full rates bill, or of the transitional bill where transitional arrangements apply. We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
Transitional arrangements are in place that phase in the effect of significant changes in liability which arise from the 2010 revaluation of non-domestic rates. Where appropriate, these arrangements will operate until March 2015. All non-domestic property will be revalued again with effect from 1st April 2015, at which time further transitional arrangements may apply.
There are limits on the percentages by which bills may increase or decrease each year. Special rules apply for changes in rateable values and the merger or splitting or existing properties.
Partially Occupied Property
The full charge is payable for properties that are partially occupied. However, there are exceptional circumstances when the Council may reduce the amount payable, by way of a temporary reduction in Rateable Value via the Valuation Office. Such exceptional circumstances include the inability to fully occupy due to a fire or flood.
Small Business Rate Relief
To be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief properties have to be within the rateable value thresholds, and the rate payer must occupy either:
One property with a rateable value below £18,000, or
One main property with a rateable value of £6,000 or below, and other additional properties with rateable values below £2,600 and the total rateable value of the additional properties remains below £18,000. (In this case however, only the main property will get the relief. The other properties will be charged on the higher non-domestic rating multiplier).
The Council may, in exceptional circumstances, reduce or remit the charge payable if the ratepayer would sustain hardship and it is reasonable for the Council to do so having regard to the interests of the council tax payers.