Do you qualify for a business rates discount?

Some businesses are entitled to a 100% discount of their business rates for 2020/21. How do you know whether yours qualifies?

 

Discount and grants

Businesses eligible for the rates discount won’t have to pay any rates for 2020/21. To qualify, your business premises must have a rateable value of less than £51,000. If your business has more than one premises, the discount applies to each of them that meets the rateable value and other conditions. Businesses that qualify may also be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000 or £25,000 if their premises have rateable values up to £15,000 or up to £51,000 respectively.

Please note, if you own a business premises which is unoccupied for any part of the year, the discount will not apply to it and you’ll be required to pay rates at the unoccupied property rate.

 

Eligible businesses

Businesses eligible for the “expanded retail discount” are those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors which would normally be open to the general public. The government’s guidance to local authorities lists the type of businesses covered but makes clear that the list is not exhaustive and it is therefore worth checking further to see if your business could be included. Apart from the obviously eligible shops, cafés, cinemas, etc. undertakers, employment agencies, petrol stations, clubhouses, art galleries and more also qualify.

Your local authority will automatically apply the discount and will notify you of this in April 2020 if it has not done so already.

If you think your business might be covered but haven’t been notified of this by the local authority, check the government’s lists in its detailed guidance. Even if your type of business isn’t specifically included you may be entitled to the discount if it’s open to the public and not in the list of excluded business types. If you’re still unsure contact your local rating authority.

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