Reductions and reliefs
Discounts, exemptions and relief
Some properties are eligible for discounts or exemptions on their business rates. This is called ‘business rates relief.’
Empty or unoccupied properties
You don’t have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates.
Some properties can get extended empty property relief:
- industrial premises (e.g. warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
- listed buildings - until they’re reoccupied
- buildings with a rateable value under £2,600 - until they’re reoccupied
- properties owned by charities - only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes (see below for further information)
- community amateur sports clubs buildings - only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club (see below for further information)
Full details on exemptions can be obtained from Barnet Council.
Empty new builds
In October 2013 the government introduced a new temporary measure for unoccupied commercial new build properties.
They may be exempt from occupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits) where the newly built commercial property is completed and entered into the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016.
If any newly built property is still empty at the end of this period, the property could receive a further new exemption for up to 18 months. Any such relief which may be given is awarded subject to state aid limits.
Small business rate relief (SBRR)
If you only use one property and your properties rateable value is less than £12,000. You may get a reduction of up to 50% on your bill.
What you get
You’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) until 31 March 2016 for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means you won’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less.
The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.
You have more than one property
You can get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,600.
The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief applied to the main property.
You’ll keep getting any existing relief for one year when you get a second property.
You’re a small business but don’t qualify for relief
If your property has a rateable value below £18,000 (£25,500 in Greater London) you’re considered a small business.
Even if you don’t qualify for small business rate relief, your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. This is the case even if you have multiple properties.
The multiplier shows the percentage (pence in the pound) of the rateable value that you pay in business rates. A list of current multipliers is on the GOV.UK website.
Mandatory and discretionary relief
Charities or trustees of a charity are entitled to an 80% reduction in their business rates if the property they occupy is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. To qualify, your organisation will normally be registered as a charity with the Charity Commission. However some other organisations may also qualify, such as:
- Scout Groups / Girl Guide Groups
- Voluntary Aided Schools
- Societies registered under the Friendly Societies Act
Relief can also be granted to charity shops, however the charity will only qualify for relief if:
- the shop sells wholly or mainly donated goods; and
- the proceeds are used for the purpose of the charity
For unoccupied properties owned by Charities or trustees of a charity, mandatory relief can be awarded where it is evident that when next in use, the property concerned will be used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.
Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC`s)
Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC's) that are registered with HM Revenues and Custom will be entitled to 80% business rate relief provided that their premises are used wholly or mainly for the purposes of the club.
In order to qualify as a CASC, the sports club must:
- be open to the whole community
- be run as an amateur club
- be a non-profit-making organisation
- aim to provide facilities for, and encourage people to take part in, eligible sport
We have the choice to give a further relief of 20%, this is called discretionary relief. This is sometimes provided to ‘top up’ certain reliefs to give businesses and charities extra help.
Transitional rate relief
If the rateable value of your property changes significantly because of the national revaluation, the amount you’ll pay will change gradually. This is called ‘transitional relief’.
Please note, this relief scheme ended on 31 March 2015.
If your property is mainly used for retail purposes and has a rateable value of £50,000 or less. You may get a discount of up to £1000. For the period 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 the relief has been increased to £1500. This relief is given using the Councils discretionary powers and will not continue beyond the 31 March 2016.
To be eligible your property must mainly be used as a shop, restaurant, cafes or drinking establishment.
You’re usually not eligible if your business provides financial services, medical services or professional services like legal advice or accounting.
Read the full guidance for much more in-depth information.
Empty properties re-occupation relief
You can also get 50% off your business rates if you start occupying a retail premises that’s been empty for one year or more.
- Business Rates
- P.O.Box 2016, Pershore, WR10 9BH
- Tel: 020 8359 2735
- FAX: 0870 889 5487
- Email: email@example.com
- Opening hours
- Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5:15pm, Friday: 9am – 5pm