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Rate reliefs

Supporting Small Business relief (SSB)

This relief is available to ratepayers who have lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief as a result of an increase in rateable value in the 2017 revaluation. The Government introduced SSB from 1 April 2017 to help phase-in large percentage increases for those affected.

This scheme limits any increase in business rates to £600 per year and will apply for a maximum of five years. Relief will automatically be applied each year that the business is eligible to receive it; this could be every year for the five years or could end sooner if the bill amount without the relief is reached.

The Supporting Small Businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of affected ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • a percentage increase per year of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation. For the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or rural rate relief , or
  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). The Government’s intention is that the cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something.

In the first year of the scheme, this means all ratepayers losing some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief will see the increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under small business rate relief and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (i.e. moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 in year 5.

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

As with all reliefs, the amount of relief awarded under the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances such as a change to the rateable value.

A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Business relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or community amateur club.

State Aid

State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is likely to amount to State Aid. However the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be State Aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)7.

The De Minimis Regulations allow a business to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a rolling three year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years) this includes all sources of state funding.

Recipients of SSB are required to inform the council if they are in receipt of any sum above the De Minimis aid limit. More information can be found on the Government’s State Aid web page see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid.

Last updated Friday, 22nd September 2017

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