Rate relief and reductions
Small business rate relief
You can get small business rate relief if you:
- only use one property, and its rateable value is less than £15,000, or
- use more than one property, and the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,900
The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief applied to the main property. Second properties will receive no additional reduction.
Amount you can receive:
- if your 2017 rateable value is £12,000 or below, small business rate relief will be given at 100%
- if your 2017 rateable value is between £12,001 and £15,000, the small business rate multiplier is used and relief will be given on a sliding scale - from 100% at the bottom of the range to 0% at the top
- if your 2017 rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000, the small business rate relief multiplier is used (even if you have more than one property)
The following table gives examples of how the relief is effected by the rateable value of a property:
Where applicable, relief can be backdated a maximum of 6 years. The relief cannot be applied to empty properties.
Charitable rate relief
There are two types of charitable rate relief - mandatory and discretionary. You can get up to 80% relief for mandatory and up to 100% relief for discretionary.
You can apply if you meet any of the following:
- a property that is in use by a charity or trustees for a charity and is used for charitable purposes
- amateur community sports clubs can apply for relief if a property is used for charitable purposes
- an empty property where the ratepayer is a charity or trustee for a charity and the property will be used for charitable purposes when next used
- the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity and the property will mainly be used for charitable purposes in the future
- all or part of the property is in use for charitable purposes for one or more non-profit organisations
- all or part of the property is occupied for the purpose of a non-profit club, society, or other organisation
- the services provided by the registered charity / amateur sports club are directly for the benefit of taxpayers in the borough
Some types of land and property won’t have to pay business rates, these are:
- agricultural land and buildings
- fish farms
- places of religious worship
- sewers and properties belonging to drainage companies
- properties used for disabled people for example training, welfare services, workshops
- air raid protection works
- swinging moorings
- road crossings over a river
- property in enterprise zones
- visiting forces
More information on the definitions of each of the types of properties and land is available on the legislation website.
Rural rate relief
The rural rate relief scheme was introduced to help protect the last retail outlets and similar services in rural settlements with a population of less than 3,000.
Designated rural areas have been defined by the Housing Act 1996 and for this council the following twelve parishes are affected:
The population of the parishes of Cranbrook, Goudhurst, Hawkhurst and Speldhurst exceed the 3,000 qualifying criteria.
Under the scheme, the following businesses in designated rural settlements are entitled to 100% mandatory rate relief:
- the only food shop, general store or post office with a rateable value of less than £8,500
- the only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500
The property must be occupied.
It is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural area to qualify for mandatory rate relief, if they both meet the conditions.
To qualify for mandatory relief, a general store must mainly sell both food and general household goods. Only part of the property need be used as a general store. For example, the business of a general store and another business could be carried on side-by-side in one premises. If there are two general stores in the same rural area, neither will qualify for mandatory relief, although, if either functions as a Post Office, relief for this can be claimed separately.
The council can also give discretionary relief of up to 100% for a property in a rural area with a rateable value of £16,500 or less, if we are satisfied that:
- the property is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community; and
- it would be reasonable for the council to award relief, having regard to the interest of the Council Tax payers in the district
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme 2023/24
At the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth around £2.1 billion in 2023/24. This will support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands. The 2023/24 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.
Retail Discount will be awarded automatically where the qualifying criteria are clearly satisfied.
The cash caps apply at a Group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and to organisations which, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, result in its being the holding company.
Find further details on Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme: local authority guidance on GOV.UK.
You will need to inform the authority, on a self-assessment basis, if you are in breach of the cash caps. If you have exceeded the cash cap on other properties and wish to refuse to receive the expanded retail discount granted in relation to the premises to which this bill and letter relates, please notify us in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You do have the option this year to refuse the expanded retail discount. If you wish to opt-out of the support, please contact the business rates team.
Further information on Business rates relief - retail discount on GOV.UK.
If you have any queries or require assistance when you receive your bill, please email email@example.com.
You may be eligible for relief if your property is empty and unfurnished. You can receive 100% relief for the first three months the property is empty and unfurnished. If the property is industrial, for example a warehouse, you will receive the relief for six months. When the 100% relief period has ended you will need to pay the full amount.
If the property is a listed building or has a rateable value which is less than £2,900 you won’t have to pay business rates on an empty property. Once your property is occupied the exemption will stop.
If you’re having trouble paying your business rates you can apply for hardship relief. This is given at our discretion, is only a short-term relief and will only be given if it is in the interest of the community and taxpayers of the borough.
Part occupied property
You can apply to pay less business rates if only part of your property is occupied. The unoccupied part must only be empty for a short time. We will ask the valuation officer for a certificate advising what the rateable value of the occupied part of your property is and you will only get charged for that part.
Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief (SSB)
The Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief was introduced in 2017 to help those ratepayers who were faced with higher bills as a result of the revaluation. The scheme ends on 31 March 2022, as a result a small number of ratepayers would face a jump to their full rates bill from 1 April 2022.
At the budget on 27 October 2021 the government therefore announced that it would extend the current transitional relief scheme and the supporting small business scheme for one year to the end of the current revaluation cycle.
The transitional relief scheme will restrict increases in bills to 15% for businesses with small properties (up to and including £20,000 rateable value) and 25% for medium properties (up to and including £100,000 rateable value).
The supporting small business relief scheme will restrict increases in bills to 15% for businesses (or a cash value increase of £600 if greater).
The 2023 revaluation will see reductions, increases or no change in bills. The transitional relief scheme will restrict increases in bills from 1 April 2023 to 5% for businesses with small properties, up to and including £20,000 rateable value, 15% for medium properties, up to and including £100,000 rateable value and 30% on large properties with over £100,000 rateable value.
For further information can be found at Introduction to business rates on GOV.UK.
We have automatically identified those ratepayers who should receive this relief and have applied it to their bill. If you feel that you qualify for this relief but it is not showing on your bill, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.