Business rates

Information about business rates (also known as national non-domestic rates, or NNDR)

Business support for Covid-19

On Tuesday 17 March, the Chancellor announced further measures to support businesses through the Covid-19 crisis. The support is for the 2020/21 year (April to March) and covers those businesses which pay business rates.

What are the new support measures that have been announced?

  • All businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including pubs, will now qualify for 100% relief in 2020/21. In addition, if the rateable value is greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may qualify for a grant up to £25,000, if you qualified for retail discount on 11 March 2020
     
  • Businesses classed as within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 could be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000 in 2020/21 in addition to their relief from business rates. This may be dependent on your rateable value
     
  • Businesses who receive small business rates relief could be eligible for a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief

Small businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000

  • Those businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 in receipt of small business rate relief and rural rate relief on 11 March 2020 will continue to receive this relief and will have nothing to pay and might be eligible for a grant of £10,000
     
  • Small business rate relief is not, in the first instance, applied automatically – you must apply for it. However, if you already receive small business rate relief you do not need to do anything as it is a one-time and not an annual application
     
  • If you are in receipt of small business rate relief then you might be eligible for a grant of £10,000
     
  • Properties whose liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rate relief will not qualify for this grant and neither will properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts and moorings even if they are in receipt of relief

Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector

  • Businesses with rateable values under £51k in retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) will now qualify for 100% relief in 2020/21. In addition, these properties might be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000 if they qualified for retail discount on 11th March 2020
     
  • We are working to identify all the properties which qualify for retail discount relief and we will aim to reissue bills by 30 April for those properties that qualify. At the very least we will ensure direct debits are not requested for those entitled to 100% relief
     
  • If you are a qualifying business and your existing bill shows a 50% retail relief then this is likely to change to 100% which means that your bill will be zero for 2020/21. If your bill shows retail relief then you may not have to pay anything. If you have a direct debit, we will not request the first instalment for April and we will issue you with a revised bill for 2020/21 showing nothing to pay. This may be subject to state aid rules
     
  • The Government has now issued guidance on qualifying businesses. We are working through this and will apply reliefs according to this guidance
     
  • If you believe that you qualify for this relief, please do not pay anything until 30 April by which time you should have received a re-issued bill. If you have not received a re-issued bill by 30 April you will be able to download an application form from this website to apply. During this application stage you do not have to pay your original business rates bill, however if your application does not fulfil the eligibility criteria you will have to pay the amount stated in your existing business rates bill for 2020/21
     
  • If you are in receipt of this relief then you might be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000. We have not received guidance from the Government on this but are expecting it early next week (commencing 23 March)

State Aid rules

  • All new reliefs covered above will constitute state aid
     
  • Awards of this relief must comply with the EU law on State Aid. To qualify for this relief, a business should not receive more than €200,000 of State Aid, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013, in a three-year period (being the current and prior two financial years)
     
  • However, if no De Minimis State Aid has been received or where the cumulative total awarded does not exceed the €200,000 limit, including any other ‘Pub Relief’ that has been granted for premises other than the one to which this claim relates, no further action is required. The €200,000 threshold may be of particular relevance to those premises that are part of a large chain