Business Rate Reductions

There are a range of reductions that businesses may qualify for. You can also find further information about Business Rates on the gov.uk website. Dont forget: if you move into, out of, or within Worcester City you need to let us know as this will affect your bill.  Please contact us with the details.

Hardship Relief

Businesses may be entitled to a reduction from rates if they are suffering hardship and they can show that the local community would suffer a loss if the business was to close.  

As each case needs to be determined on its merits you should contact us for further information.

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Registered charities, charitable organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. We have the discretion to give a further 20% relief on the remaining bill depending upon what the premises are used for.

We also have the discretion to give up to 50% discretionary relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making organisations for example; sports clubs, societies, village halls and youth associations.

If you wish to apply please contact us for an application form or click on the link below.

Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief application form.

N.B. If your annual turnover is in excess of £250,000 or your surplus is in excess of £25,000 then you will automatically be disqualified.

You can get further information on Rate Relief by visiting the gov.uk website.

Empty property

Business Rates will not be payable for the first three months that a property is empty.  After the 3-month period rates will be charged at 100% unless the property is exempt e.g. Listed buildings, empty properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs (NB. Industrial property will be exempt for 6 months), or has a rateable value of less than the following limits (see table below):-

Upto 31 March 2009 RV 2,200
1 April 2009 - 31 March 2010   RV 15,000
1 April 2010 - 31 March 2011 RV 18,000
From 1 April 2011 - 31 March 2017 RV 2,600
From 1 April 2017 RV 2,900

Please note - due to the lowering of the Rateable Value limit from 18,000 to 2,600 with effect from 01 April 2011, you may now be subject to an empty business rate charge.    

In brief, office and retail premises receive 100% relief for the first three months, and industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% for the first six months, from when the property becomes empty. All rate relief for these properties will end after this time and Non Domestic Rates will be chargeable in full.

You can find more information about business rates at the gov.uk website.

Partially empty property

If only part of the premises is being used it may be possible to reduce the amount of business rates that are paid.

If you wish to claim this relief you should contact us immediately and we will arrange for one of our Visiting Officers to visit your premises.

The relief would stop if:

  • the unoccupied part becomes occupied
  • the property becomes completely unoccupied  

Small Business Rate Relief

Changes from April 2017

From 1 April 2017  Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) will permanently double from 50% to 100%. The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, those with rateable values below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief.  This relief will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £12,000 and £15,000.

The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from £18,000 (£25,500 in London) to a rateable value of £51,000. This means that if the rateable value is between £15,001 and £51000 the bill will be calculated using the small business non domestic rating multiplier if appropriate. 

How much relief will I get?

If the property has a rateable value of less than £18,000 from 1st April 2010 you may qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). 

To qualify for SBRR the ratepayer must:

  • occupy only one property , or
  • occupy one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have rateable values less than £2,900.

PLEASE NOTE: You are only eligible to claim Small Business Rate Relief on ONE property regardless of how many properties you occupy.

The rateable value of a single property or the aggregate total value of all the properties must be less than £20,000 (or £28,000 within Greater London).

Ratepayers can only claim relief in respect of one property. However, you may now continue to receive SBRR for a period of 12 months further to occupying another property.

The Scheme prior to 1 October 2010

Eligible properties with a rateable value of less than £6,000 will receive 50% relief. This relief will decrease on a sliding scale of 1% for every £120 in rateable value over £6,000 and up to £12,000, at which point no relief is applicable.

In addition, eligible properties will have their rate bill calculated on the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

Changes from October 2010 - April 2017

The Government has temporarily changed the scheme so that businesses who qualify and whose rateable value is less than £6,000 will get 100% relief. This will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £6,000 to £12,000. If the rateable value is between £12,001 and £17,999 the bill will  be calculated using a lower multiplier than non-qualifying businesses.

Businesses must apply in writing and there are time limits on how long you have to apply so please don't delay - apply as soon as you can. You can get further information on Small Business Rate Relief and do a trial calculation by visiting the My Business Rates website.

Apply for Small Business Rate Relief

If you delay your application it could cost you money.

Please note: If your business qualifies for Mandatory Charity Relief you cannot get SBRR as well.

Don’t forget: if you move into, out of, or within Worcester  you need to let us know as this will affect your bill. 

 Please contact us with the details.

Rural Rate Relief

Businesses in a Rural Settlement could qualify for Mandatory or Discretionary Rural Rate Relief on their Non Domestic Rates bill.

A Rural Settlement is a defined area with a population of less than 3000.

To qualify for Mandatory Relief, the business premises must be the only Post Office, general store, public house or petrol filling station in the rural settlement. Food shops may also qualify for relief and do not need to be the only food shop in the rural settlement. See below for more details.

In addition to Mandatory Relief for those businesses mentioned above, we are able to grant Discretionary Relief.  Other types of businesses in a rural settlement may also qualify for just the Discretionary Relief.  In all cases, the business must be used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community.  See below for more details.

A list of the areas that are designated Rural Settlements is available on our website or at our Customer Service Centre at Customer Service Centre, The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester, WR1 3PB

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief

To qualify for 100% Mandatory Rural Rate Relief, your business premises must:

  1. be within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 in the case of a Post Office, general store or food shop.
  3. have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 in the case of a public house or petrol filling station.
  4. be used in whole or in part, as a general store, Post Office or both, or as a public house, food shop or petrol filling station.
  5. be either the only general store, the only Post Office, the only public house or the only petrol filling station in the rural settlement.

Please note: it is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural settlement to qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Please note: if you do not qualify for Mandatory Relief, you may still qualify for Discretionary Relief dependent on meeting certain criteria.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief

We may grant up to 50% relief to any general store, food shop, Post Office, public house or petrol filling station which does not qualifies for the Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

A business can also apply for Discretionary Rural Rate Relief of 50% provided that it:

  1. is within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. has a rateable value of less than £16,500.
  3. is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
  4. is reasonable for us to make such a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax set by it. 

To download an application form click on one of the links below.

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief application form.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief application form.

If you would like more information please contact us.

Public House Relief 2017/18

In the Spring Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses for the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018, this has since been extended for a further 12 months over 2018/19.

The scheme is available to eligible occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £100,000. The relief has been automatically applied and amended bills issued.

The Government’s states that eligible pubs must:

  • Be open to the general public
  • Allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • Allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • Allow drinks to be purchased at a bar.

The Government has excluded the following property categories from the scheme:

  • restaurants, cafes and snack bars
  • nightclubs, casinos and cinemas
  • hotels, guesthouses and boarding houses
  • concert halls, music venues, sporting venues and festival sites
  • theatres, museums and exhibition halls

Awards such as Pub Relief are required to comply with the EU law on State Aid. This states that an organisation cannot receive more than €200,000 of government funding over a three year period, as set out under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. If you believe you have exceeded the €200,000 state aid limit please contact us immediately.

If you have not been awarded the relief or do not wish to receive the relief please email us at businessrates@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk or call us on 03004 560 560.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief

In the 2017 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that a new scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of rural rate and small business rate relief due to the revaluation.

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

  • a percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% in 2017/18 to 2021/22 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; and
  • 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

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme. 

This relief has been automatically applied to eligible accounts and therefore there is no formal application process, however, for any further information regarding this relief, please contact us at businessrates@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk

2017 Spring Budget Business Rates Discretionary Scheme

In the 2017 Spring Budget the Chancellor announced that the government would make available a discretionary fund of £300 million over a 4 year period to local authorities in England to design and implement a discretionary scheme to support those businesses most affected by the recent revaluation

A breakdown of the £300 million funding and Worcester City Council’s share is as follows:

 

Year

 

Total Pot

 

Worcester City Council's Allocation

 

2017/18

 

£175 Million

 

£238,000

 

2018/19

 

£85 Million

 

£116,000

 

2019/20

 

£35 Million

 

£48,000

 

2020/21

 

£5 Million

 

£7,000

Scheme

Worcester’s scheme takes into consideration and builds on the government’s guidelines whilst also mirroring the Council’s aspirations to ensure economic growth is supported. This scheme has been automatically applied to eligible accounts therefore businesses do not need to apply.

Qualifying Criteria

To maximise the funding available the following criteria has been used:

  • The business has had an increase in Rateable Value as a result of the recent revaluation 2017/18
  • The business has a Rateable Value under £200,000
  • The business is not part of a national chain
  • The business is not a public sector organisation or a housing association
  • The hereditaments must be occupied

The award must also comply with State Aid Law which states that an organisation cannot receive more than €200,000 of government funding over a 3 year period, as set out under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

If you believe you meet the qualification criteria and have not been included in this scheme please contact us at businessrates@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk