Changes to business rates announced in the March 2017 Budget
The chancellor has announced some changes to business rates from 1 April 2017 which will provide further support for businesses facing significant increases in bills following the 2017 revaluation. We have not yet implemented these changes because local authorities are still waiting for further guidance from central government and then for subsequent software changes that will need to be made to our systems.
These changes do not therefore show on your current 2017/18 business rates bill.
The following changes were announced:
- support for small businesses losing small business rate relief to limit increases in their bills;
- funding will be given to local authorities to provide support to individual cases of hardship in our local area that directly result from the 2017 revaluation;
- the introduction of a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017.
If you are eligible for the business rate discount for public houses, or additional support following the loss of small business rate relief, we will send you a new business rates bill once this has been applied to your account. This will be after June 2017 and you should continue to pay your business rates bill in the meantime.
We will publish further details on the additional help available to businesses following the revaluation as they become available.
Small Business Rate Relief
From 1 April 2017 the qualifying thresholds for small business rates relief have changed.
This means that the small business rate relief scheme provides a maximum of 100 per cent mandatory rate relief for properties with a rateable value up to £12,000, with relief declining on a sliding scale until, at a rateable value of £15,000, there is no entitlement.
- If you are occupying only one property with a rateable value of below £12,000 you would pay no rates at all;
- If you are occupying only one property with a rateable value of between £12,000 and £15,000 you would benefit from a discount on your bill;
- Eligible ratepayers with rateable values below £51,000 will have their bills calculated using the small business multiplier
Relief will only be available to businesses occupying one property in England, with a rateable value less than £15,000, or businesses with one main property and other additional properties in England, providing the additional properties have individual rateable values below £2,900 and the combined rateable value of all the properties is below £20,000. In such cases, relief will only be applied on your main property (i.e. the property with the highest rateable value).
If you are not claiming and think you may be eligible, contact us on 020 8207 7409 or download an application form now.
After each revaluation there is a period of transition. No bill is allowed to increase or decrease by more than a set percentage. Any property with a large increase or decrease in its rateable value will therefore come under the transitional relief scheme, which has the effect of phasing in the valuation over a period of time.
If transitional relief applies to your rates bill, it will be applied automatically.
For the majority of commercial properties there is a maximum of three months' exemption from the payment of rates from the date the property becomes empty. If, after that period, the property remains empty, full rates will become payable.
Industrial properties that under previous law received full exemption from the payment of rates whilst empty (factories, warehouses and workshops) now only benefit from a maximum of up to six months' exemption. If after that period the property remains empty, full rates become payable.
There are full and unlimited exemptions applicable to unoccupied charitable properties and listed buildings, and full exemptions for unoccupied small properties with rateable values of less than £2,900.
Partly occupied property relief
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the business rates team on 020 8207 7409.
Charities and community amateur sports club relief
Charities registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to an 80 per cent reduction in their bills where the property is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities) or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs). We have the discretion to reduce the bill further and to grant relief to some other types of non-profit making bodies. Download an application form and guide now.
Rate relief for businesses in rural areas
Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to relief. The property must be wholly or partly within a designated area (under the Housing (Right to Acquire) (Designated Rural Areas in the East) Order 1997. It must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 100 per cent of the full charge for mandatory awards (from 1 April 2017 - in prior years 50 per cent applies). Full details can be obtained from the business rates team on 020 8207 7409.
This discretionary relief can be granted if you are experiencing hardship and your business is considered to be important to the local community. Contact us on 020 8207 7409 for an application form.