Reliefs and reductions

3. Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who are not entitled to another mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates and occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £17,999 outside London or £25,499 in London will have their bill calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier. In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to 50% for a property with a rateable value of not more than £6,000.

Generally, this percentage reduction is only available to ratepayers who occupy either (a) one property, or (b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599. The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value in (b), must not exceed £17,999 outside London or £25,499 in London.

Scheme funding

The scheme is funded through a supplement built into the standard non-domestic rating multiplier.

Change of circumstances notification

The ratepayer is required to notify the billing authority, within four weeks, of any change in circumstances, which could effect their entitlement to small business rate relief. Failure to meet this requirement will bring the existing relief to a retrospective end and any new relief will only apply from the receipt date of a new claim.

In addition a further application is required where there is occupation of an additional property in England. The ratepayer must also give written notification to the billing authority where a change in the rateable value of any property not in that area has occurred.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Increase in level of Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who qualify for Small Business Rate Relief with a rateable value up to £11,999 have had their relief temporarily doubled since 1 October 2010. In the 2015 Autumn Statement, the Government announced its intention to make legislative changes to extend the temporarily enhanced scheme until 31 March 2017.

Qualifying ratepayers with rateable values up to £6000 will continue to have their relief doubled to 100% until 31 March 2017.

Qualifying ratepayers with a rateable value between £6001 and £11,999 will continue to receive relief on a reduced taper but they will also see a doubling of relief until 31 March 2017.