Small business rate relief
How the scheme works
This scheme was first introduced in April 2005, amended in April and October 2010 and more recently revised and updated to coincide with the 2017 revaluation of commercial property.
Businesses who have just one property can claim 100% Rate Relief if their premises have a rateable value of less than £6,000 – meaning there would be no rates to pay.
Businesses who have one property may also claim a reduction in their rates if they occupy a property with a rateable value between £6,000 and £12,000. The level of relief given to these properties is on a tapered basis, the lower the rateable value the greater the percentage relief. The relief reduces by 1% for every £60 increase in the rateable value above £6,000.
The above levels of relief were brought in by the Government as a temporary measure in October 2010 although subsequently allowed to continue until 31st March 2017.
Substantial savings are on offer for almost all small businesses and the Council must grant such relief to qualifying companies.
What period of time can I claim for?
Ratepayers are allowed to claim back rates they have already paid, as far back as 1st April 2010 – although it must be remembered that the relief available from 1st April 2010 to 1st October 2010 was a maximum of 50% so there would still have been some rates to pay during this time even if your rateable value was below £6,000.
Occupiers of premises with a rateable value under £12,000 MUST make a claim to the Council if they wish to receive a reduction; it will not be given automatically. An application for a relief to cover the period prior to April 2012 should be made on a form obtainable to download here: Download a SBRR application form 2010-2017
Claims for relief after April 2012 do not need to be made on a standard form, these can be made by e-mail to email@example.com, by letter or by telephone on (024) 7637 6534.
What does this relief cost the Council?
This is a mandatory relief scheme which is self-funding; it does not cost the Council. All relief is recovered each year by way of a supplement on the rates paid by larger companies.
Since April 2012 local councils have been obliged to send out rate demands to companies whose rateable values are between £12,000 and £18,000 using the Small Business Rates Multiplier. For the financial year 2016/2017, the figure was 48.4p in the £ compared with the Standard Rate Multiplier in the £ which was 49.7p.
If you have not already made a claim and your rateable value is between £12,000 and £18,000 you may still seek a reduction. If you have been charged using the Standard Rate multiplier, and there has been no change to the occupation of your property since April 2010, the Council would apply the relief that you would have been due for the two years prior to April 2012. You are encouraged to complete an application form and return it to the Council to seek a reduction for the 24 month period up to April 2012; after April 2012 this relief should have automatically been calculated when your bill is prepared.
If your property has a rateable value under £12,000, your rates bill will usually be calculated using the Small Business Rates Multiplier, (48.4p in the £ for 2016/2017). If the bill shows no further discounts/relief, this will almost inevitably mean your bill has NOT been prepared taking account of the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme explained above.
To receive the full benefit of Small Business Rates Relief you DO need to make a claim to the Council.
How do I claim?
To make a claim please complete an application form and e-mail a scanned copy to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it to the Billing team at the Council Offices, stating that you are claiming Small Business Rates Relief going back to April 2010. If you are due a refund, this will be returned to you as soon as possible. If you pay your rates by direct debit the refund will be returned to the account from which it was debited. You do not need professional advisers to help you, if you have any concerns then please do not hesitate to contact the Council Offices on (024) 7637 6534.
If you have two properties, as long as one has a rateable value below £2,600 and the combined total of the rateable values is below £18,000 you can still claim relief as above on the larger property.
If you have more than two properties, as long as the rateable values of the other properties are below £2,600 and the combined total of all the rateable values of the properties is below £18,000 you can still claim relief as above on the larger property.
You are advised to apply for relief, whether for a current liability or a backdated period,as soon as possible. The time limit to apply for relief for the 2010 rating list period has been extended until September 2017. After this time, if your rateable value is subsequently reduced to enable you to qualify you will have 6 months from the date of the amendment in which to make a claim.
Taking on an additional property:
With effect from 14th February 2014 Central Government introduced new regulations in respect of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme.
A ratepayer can now occupy a further property, which would previously have meant they were no longer entitled to any relief. They must have started to occupy the other property after they occupied the initial property, they must only have occupied the second property for a period of less than 12 months and they must not be in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief for the second property. If a ratepayer meets these criteria they can retain the original relief on their initial property for a period of 12 months from when they first occupy their second property.
From 1st April 2017, the SBRR scheme continues largely the same as before but with new thresholds that have been introduced to coincide with the new revaluation:
Eligible properties up to £12,000 rateable value will receive 100% rate relief. Tapered relief will be applied on a sliding scale for qualifying properties that have a rateable value over £12,000 but up to £14,999. In addition, for eligible properties, the bill will be calculated using the small business rating multiplier. (For 2020/21, this has been set at 49.9p per pound of rateable value) Eligible properties between £15,000 and £50,999 will receive no relief but will have the small business non-domestic rating multiplier applied to the calculation of their bill. Non-qualifying properties will have the standard non-domestic rating multiplier used in the calculation of their bills. This has been set at 51.2p for 2020/21.
The relief is only available to ratepayers with either
• One property in England, or
• One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,899 and the total value of all properties remains under £19,999
The relief will be applied to one property only. The charge on the additional properties (under £2,899) will be based on the higher non-domestic rating multiplier.
The ratepayer must notify the billing authority of particular changes in circumstances that may affect their entitlement to the relief, within four weeks starting on the day after the change occurred. These changes are:
• Increases in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer which is not in the area of the billing authority granting SBRR – these changes will have to be notified in writing; and
• The ratepayer coming into occupation of any property which is not mentioned in their original application for relief. As with the previous scheme, relief can still be granted for a period of up to one year from taking on an additional property.
Last updated Tuesday, 10th March 2020