Councils implement business rate refunds Elisseeva

Councils across the Country are now starting to implement one of the measures of the Spring 2017 budget.

As a result, ratepayers are receiving revised demands through from their Local Authority which may already show that a credit has been applied to their bill or they are invited to apply for such credit.

The qualifying criteria varies across the Country from Council to Council however the guidance from the Government is that these should be granted to any ratepayer with a Rateable Value of under £200,000 where they have faced an annual increase in their rates payable of over £100.

The relief, which is discretionary, is tapered over the next four financial years to the limit of the following:

  • 2017/2018 – 37.5% of any increase to annual business rates payable
  • 2018/2019 – 18% of any increase to annual business rates payable
  • 2019/2020 – 7.5% of any increase to annual business rates payable
  • 2020/2021 – 1% of any increase to annual business rates payable

There are a number of qualifying criteria which are broadly as follows:

  • The Rateable Value must be under £200,000
  • The ratepayer must have had an increase to the annual bill of over £100
  • The premises must be occupied
  • The ratepayer must have been in occupation on both 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017
  • The property has an increasing Rateable Value after 1 April 2017 then you will not benefit from additional relief
  • The granting of relief must comply with EU state aid limits

Each Local Authority has discretion in relation to the threshold so whilst the Government are specifying the maximum Rateable Value to qualify is £200,000 other Local Authorities may apply a lower threshold.

Alastair Fearn, Director within the Business Rates team at FHP commented:

“Any offer of relief from the Government is of course welcome although it is the lack of transitional relief for many occupiers is causing the real problems with many instances where there is no relief between the two Rating Lists.”