At the Budget on 27 October the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties in 2022/23.

The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

Who is eligible for the relief?

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that:

  • fall under the £110,000 cash cap and Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit and;
  • are reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public and;
  • are wholly or mainly being used:
    1. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas or live music venues
    2. for assembly and leisure; or
    3. as hotels, guest & boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Further information regarding the eligibility criteria can be found at GOV.UK  and in Rother’s Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme 2022-23

What is the cash cap and Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance?

Cash cap

Under the cash cap, no ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £110,000 cash cap across all their hereditaments in England.

Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one ratepayer for the purposes of the cash cap. A ratepayer shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another:

  1. where both ratepayers are companies, and
    • one is a subsidiary of the other, or
    • both are subsidiaries of the same company; or
  2. where only one ratepayer is a company, the other ratepayer (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other.

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Under subsidy control, no ratepayer can exceed £343,00 in total of Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over three years (including 2022/23).

Further guidance on the cash cap and financial assistance limit can be found at GOV.UK

How do I apply for this relief?

This relief has automatically been applied to 2022/23 business rates bills for those that may be eligible and were in receipt of the 66% Expanded Retail Discount (unless it was apparent that the above mentioned cap may be breached).

However, you are required to inform us, on a self-assessment basis, if you do not qualify or are in breach of the cash cap or Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit so we can amend your account accordingly. You can also choose to opt out of this relief.

Please email revenuesandbenefits@rother.gov.uk  quoting your account reference and address if you are in breach of the caps, are otherwise ineligible or to opt out.

If you would like to apply for this relief  from 1 April 2022, then you can register and apply online here. You will need your property reference number which is the 13 digit number found on your business rates bill. The application is displayed in the Rates Discount Forms section.

On the 15 December 2021, the Government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF). The new discretionary relief is for business ratepayers who have not been eligible to receive business rate relief under other government schemes during 2021/22.

The aim of the relief is to support ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact. The relief is available to reduce chargeable amounts in respect of the financial year 2021/22 only.

Local Authorities are responsible for designing within the available funding limits the scheme that will operate in their area. Rother District Council’s scheme was approved by the Councils Cabinet on 7 February 2022.

What do I need to do?

The relief has been automatically awarded to business rate accounts for businesses that may meet the general criteria of the scheme. However, in-order for the relief to be retained, you will need to make a signed declaration confirming your eligibility.

If you believe you meet the following criteria to receive a CARF business rate reduction you will need to register online here by 1 May 2022 and confirm your entitlement.

You will need your property reference number which is the 13-digit number quoted on your bill. If you have previously applied for a grant, you can use the same login details. The application is displayed in the Rates Discount Forms section.

Alternatively, you can notify the Council that you do not wish to receive the relief by emailing revenuesandbenefits@rother.gov.uk quoting your account number and address.

What is the criteria?

You may qualify for the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund if:

  • Your business can demonstrate that it has been adversely affected by the pandemic and you have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact
  • Your business will not exceed its state subsidy allowance limits if it is awarded this relief. Further information on this can be found at GOV.UK

For further information on eligibility, included those that do not qualify, please see Rother’s Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund Policy.

What happens if I don’t apply or am not eligible?

If we do not receive your declaration by 1 May 2022 or you do not wish to receive the relief, your business rate account will be amended and the relief removed from your account.

Expanded Retail Discount

An expanded retail discount may be available for occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

After mandatory and discretionary reliefs have been applied:

  • From 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021 the Expanded Retail Discount is 100% relief, uncapped.
  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, the discount is reduced to 66% relief for eligible properties in the scheme, with a cash cap of:
    • £2m for businesses that were required to close as at 5 January 2021.
    • £105,000 for business permitted to open as at 5 January 2021.

Who is eligible for this discount?

In addition to the caps from 1 July 2021, properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  1. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  2. for assembly and leisure; or
  3. as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Further guidance on Expanded Retail Discount 2021/22 eligibility can be found at GOV.UK 

How do the cash caps work?

The cash caps apply to the 66% discount from 1 July 2021 and work as follows:

  • Ratepayers required to close by law at 5 January 2021 may only claim up to £2 million nationally of Expanded Retail Discount.
  • Ratepayers allowed to open from 5 January 2021 may only claim up to £105,000 nationally of Expanded Retail Discount.

This cash cap applies at a Group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and also 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 of the cash cap.

Can I opt out of this discount?

Please email revenuesandbenefits@rother.gov.uk if you wish to opt out of any support from 1 April 2021 so that we can issue a revised bill to you.

How do I apply?

If you believe you are eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount from 1 July 2021 you will need to register and apply online here.

If you are successful, we will inform you by email and send a revised bill with a 66% discount.

For the discount prior to 1 July 2021, those hereditaments that we have identified as being wholly or mainly used for the above purposes will have the retail discount automatically applied to their business rates bill.

Nursery Discount

Who is eligible for the discount?

For the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022 a nursery discount is available for hereditaments occupied by non-local authority providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register that are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The value of the discount, after mandatory and discretionary reliefs have been applied, is 100% for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021 and 66% from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 but capped at £105,000.

If you believe you are eligible for the Nursery Discount from 1 July 2021  to 31 March 2022 you will need to register and apply online here. You will need your property reference number which is the 13 digit number found on your business rates bill. If you have previously applied for a grant then you can use the same login details.

Can I opt out of the discount?

Please email revenuesandbenefits@rother.gov.uk if you wish to opt out of support from 1 April 2021 so that we can issue a revised bill to you.

How do I apply?

To receive the Nursery Discount from 1 July 2021 you need to register and apply online here.

If you apply and are eligible, we will inform you by email and send a revised bill with a 66% discount.

For the discount prior to 1 July 2021,  hereditaments that we have identified as being wholly or mainly used for the above purposes will have the discount automatically applied to their business rates bill.

Unoccupied and unfurnished

Properties that have been empty for less than three months, or in the case of some industrial properties, for less than six months will receive an exemption from Business Rates. After those initial three or six months rate-free periods, the responsible party will then be liable for 100% of the Business Rates. Please note that this exemption applies from the first day that the property becomes unoccupied, regardless of any change in liable party. Properties with a rateable value of under £2900 will remain exempt until they are no longer unoccupied.

If you would like to apply for this exemption then please complete the online form below.

Partially occupied

If a property is only partly occupied, the Council has the discretion to request that the Valuation Officer apportions the property’s Rateable Value between its occupied and unoccupied parts. Normal rates would then be charged on the occupied part, with the rules for empty property rating, as described above, applying to the unoccupied part. If you would like to apply for this then please contact us to arrange for a visiting officer to view your property.

Uninhabitable

If a property is not capable of beneficial occupation, for instance if it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired, and has not been intentionally damaged to avoid payment of rates, the Valuation Office may judge that it should be taken out of the rating list altogether. Please contact the Valuation Office for further information

 

Who is eligible for Small Business Rate Relief?

Small business rate relief can only be claimed for one property. The relief is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

  • one property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less or;
  • one main property and other additional properties providing the additional properties each have a rateable value below £2,900,and the aggregate rateable value of all your properties is below £20,000.

In addition:

  • if the rateable value is £12,000 or less you will get a 100% discount;
  • if the rateable value is between £12,001 and £15,000, the discount is calculated on a sliding scale between 0 – 100%.

You will not be entitled to Small Business Rate Relief if:

  • You are in receipt of Mandatory Charitable Relief.
  • The property is unoccupied.

Taking on additional properties

In previous years, if you took on a second property with a rateable value of more than £2,899 you would no longer qualify for Small Business Rate Relief. From 14 February 2014 ratepayers continue to receive Small Business Rate Relief on the first property for 12 months, even when taking on a second one.

How do I apply for Small Business Rate Relief?

To apply for SBRR please complete and submit our online form:

Change of circumstances

Certain changes in circumstances need to be notified to the Business Rates team by the ratepayer. The changes which must be notified are:

  1. the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief, and
  2. an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer, and
  3. the hereditament becoming unoccupied.

Mandatory Relief

When a non-domestic property is occupied by a charity or a Community Amateur Sports Club it may qualify for 80% mandatory charitable relief.

Charities

With regard to occupied property, two requirements must be met:

  1. the ratepayer must be a charity or trustees for a charity; and
  2. the hereditament must be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities).

With regard to unoccupied property, two requirements must be met:

  1. the ratepayer must be a charity or trustees for a charity; and
  2. it must appear that when next in use the hereditament will be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities).
Exempt Charities

If you are an exempt charity we would require a letter from Inland Revenue saying you are entitled to an exemption from taxes under the provisions of section 505 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. Please send this evidence in with your application.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Two requirements must be met:

  1. the rate payer must be registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club under the Corporation Tax Act 2010; and
  2. the hereditament must be wholly or mainly used for the purposes of the club itself, or for the purposes of the club and other Community Amateur Sports Clubs.

An application form can be downloaded below to complete and return.

Mandatory Rate Relief for Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Once entitlement is established, relief will continue from year to year without re-application but a check will be made from time to time to confirm the above conditions are still met.

Any change in entitlement to this relief must be notified to the Business Rates team within 28 days including if the hereditament becomes empty. New occupiers will need to make their own application.

Discretionary Relief

Further relief for Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs from all or part of the remaining 20% of their rate charge can be allowed.

An application form for this relief can be downloaded below.

Discretionary Rate Relief for Charities, Sports Clubs and Voluntary Organisations

Please complete and return both pages of the form. Applications MUST be accompanied by the audited accounts and forecasts specified in the form.

A fresh application is required each financial year for relief to continue.

Voluntary Organisations and Sports Clubs (not Community Amateur Sports Clubs)

Relief of up to 100% can be allowed to institutions or organisations, not established or conducted for profit and whose main objects are charitable, philanthropic, religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts.  An application for this relief may be downloaded. The completed application MUST be accompanied by the copies of the accounts and forecasts shown.

Relief of up to 100% can be allowed to the ratepayers of properties wholly or mainly used for purposes of recreation, and the occupier is a club, society or other organisation not established or conducted for profit. Application for this relief can be made on the form which may be downloaded. Applications MUST be accompanied by the copies of the accounts and forecasts shown.

Discretionary Rate Relief for Charities, Sports Clubs and Voluntary Organisations

Mandatory Relief

General Stores, Food Shops and Post Offices may be entitled to Mandatory Rural Rate Relief of 100%, provided they meet the following conditions:

  1. They must be within a “Rural Settlement” (defined in the Rural Settlement List compiled by the Council).
  2. The rateable value of the property must not exceed £8500.
  3. They must be used, in whole or part, as a General Store, Food Shop or Post Office.
  4. They must be the only General Store, Food Shop or Post Office in the settlement.

A General Store, Food Shop and a Post Office in the same settlement can qualify for relief.

A General Store is one in which the business consists wholly or mainly of the sale by retail of food for human consumption (excluding confectionery) and general household goods.

A Food Shop is one in which the business consists wholly or mainly of the sale by retail of food for human consumption. This excludes confectionary, supply of food for consumption on the premises and supply of hot food for consumption off those premises however Food Shops that only sell a small amount of heated food will be eligible.

An application form for this relief can be downloaded below.

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief for General Stores, Food Shops and Post Offices

Once entitlement is established, relief will continue from year to year without re-application but a check will be made from time to time to confirm the above conditions are still met.  New proprietors will need to make their own application.

Any change in entitlement to this relief must be notified to the Business Rates team within 28 days including if the hereditament becomes empty.

Other Rural Businesses

Relief of up to 100% can be allowed to other village shops and rural businesses, of any sort, located in a “Rural Settlement” provided the property has a Rateable Value that does not exceed £16,500 at the beginning of the rating year concerned, and is used for the purposes which are beneficial to the local community.  The interests of the Council Taxpayers must also be considered. You may download an application form for this relief below which must be accompanied by the copies of the accounts and forecasts shown.

Discretionary Rate Relief for Other Rural Businesses

Mandatory Relief

Public Houses and Petrol Filling Stations may be entitled to Mandatory Rural Rate Relief of 100%, provided they meet the following conditions:

  1. They must be located within a ‘Rural Settlement’ (defined in the Rural Settlement list compiled by the Council).
  2. They must be used as a Public House or a Petrol Filling Station.
  3. The rateable value of the property must not exceed £12,500.
  4. They must be the only Public House or Petrol Filling Station in the settlement.

An application form for this relief can be downloaded below.

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief for Public Houses and Petrol Filling Stations

Once entitlement is established, relief will continue from year to year without reapplication, but a check will be made from time to time to confirm the above conditions are still met. New proprietors will need to make their own application.

Any change in entitlement to this relief must be notified to the Business Rates team within 28 days including if the hereditament becomes empty.

Relief of up to 100% of the rates on ANY property in the District can be allowed on the grounds of hardship.  This means not only the hardship caused to the ratepayers by payment of the rates, but also the loss of the local community by the possible closure of the business, depending on the proximity and availability of alternatives. Applications for this relief can be made on the below form which may be downloaded. Applications MUST be accompanied by the trading accounts and forecasts shown.

In all cases, an applicant is required to provide copies of trading accounts for the past two years, and a forecast for the current year.  If these are not available for any reasons, other evidence of the financial position of the business MUST be provided.  Applications will NOT be considered without this information.  Relief is only allowed for a year at a time, and a fresh application is required each year for relief to be continued.  Applicants are advised to provide as much information as possible with an application, to avoid delays in a decision being made.

Rate Relief on Grounds of Hardship

2022/23 Extension of Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief

At the Budget on 27 October 2021 the government 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, 31 March 2023. The 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).

What do I have to do?

This relief will be automatically applied to qualifying 2022/23 business rates bills.

The extension of transitional relief and Supporting Small Business relief scheme is likely to amount to subsidy. You are required to inform us, on a self-assessment basis, if you are in breach of the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit. Under subsidy control, no ratepayer can exceed £343,000 in total of Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over three years (including 2022/23).

Please email revenuesandbenefits@rother.gov.uk quoting your account reference and address if you are in breach of the subsidy limit.

Further information on the reliefs, calculations and subsidy limit for the schemes can be found at GOV.UK and in Rother’s Extension to the Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Rates Relief Scheme 2022-23.

Who is eligible for Supporting Small Business Relief?

The Supporting Small Businesses relief will help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and are facing large increases in their bills.

To support these ratepayers, the Supporting Small Businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  1.  a percentage increase p.a. of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2022/23 all plus inflation. Unlike the transitional relief scheme, for the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or rural rate relief , or
  2. a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something.

A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for this relief (unless the property becomes unoccupied).

Who is not eligible for this relief?

  • Those who are not losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation.
  • Eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant. For example, if a property falls unoccupied it will not then be eligible for Supporting Small Businesses relief if it subsequently becomes occupied again.
  • Hereditaments eligible for Charity or Community Amateur Sports Club relief are not eligible.

What happens if I qualify?

This relief will automatically be applied and a revised bill issued reflecting the limited increase described above. You will not have to reapply each year.

Any change in entitlement to this relief must be notified to the Business Rates team within 28 days including if the hereditament becomes empty.