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There are certain circumstances in which full rates may not payable.
Registered charities, which use premises for charitable purposes, are generally entitled to 80% relief from rates. This includes charity shops, provided that the goods sold are wholly or mainly donated.
Certain other organisations, such as universities, which are exempt from registration as a charity may also qualify for relief.
If the relevant conditions are met, this relief is mandatory, it must be granted.
Sports clubs, which are registered as community amateur sports clubs with the Inland Revenue, qualify for 80% relief. Further details on how to register as a CASC can be found on the HMRC website or by writing to:
Inland Revenue Charities
Sports Club Unit
St John's House
Councils may also grant discretionary relief to certain other non-profit-making bodies, e.g. sports clubs and community associations.
We have the discretion to 'top-up' any mandatory relief to a maximum 100% relief but as any additional relief is paid for by the council tax payers it will only be granted if the organisation benefits local residents. From the 1 April 2012 the council may also grant up to 100% relief to any ratepayer.
Please note any discretionary relief awarded is subject to state aid limits, for further guidance please see the GOV.UK state aid pages.
This was introduced from 1 April 1998 to allow for relief for certain types of properties, which lie within a designated rural settlement.
Properties which qualify are:
The relief is 50% and fully funded by central government. From the 1st April 2017 the 50% award will be doubled to 100% for those that meet the qualifying criteria, with the cost met by central government.
The council has the discretion to 'top up' this relief and the scheme also gives the council discretion to allow relief for other business premises in rural settlements if:
Councils may grant relief to a ratepayer who would suffer hardship if they paid the whole of the rates bill. As this relief is partly funded by the local council, we will usually only grant this relief where it is evident that it is in the interests of the community that the ratepayer remains in business because either:
Before the council will consider granting this relief, a written request must be made and copies of audited accounts supplied.
Please note any hardship relief awarded is subject to state aid limits, for further guidance please see the GOV.UK state aid pages.
From April 2012, we can award discretionary rate relief to any ratepayer subject to state aid limits.
In making a judgement, we will balance the interests of the individual ratepayer or small community against that of council tax payers in general, taking into consideration local factors, and whether the council’s financial position allows for a reduction to be made.
Examples of these factors would be:
If a property is temporarily only partly occupied, it is not always possible or necessary to create two separate properties in the rating list. For example, where a company phases its removal from one set of premises to another, or where the use of property is temporarily restricted by flood or fire. In these cases it would be inappropriate to have the rating list amended because the circumstances are not permanent.
We can ask the valuation office to determine the rateable values of the occupied and unoccupied parts. The rates payable on each part can then be worked out and relief is granted so that the ratepayer only pays the full rates for the occupied part plus the rates for the unoccupied part. (If an exemption applies to the unoccupied part, however, then nothing is payable for that part.)
This relief is given as laid down in section 44a of the local government finance act 1988 and is subject to state aid limits.
The relief is granted either to the end of the financial year or to the date on which the property ceases to be only partly occupied, whichever is the earlier. This relief can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.
The government have introduced as a temporary measure the power for Local Authorities to grant an exemption to unoccupied non domestic hereditaments that are wholly or mainly comprised of new structures that are completed after the 1 October 2013 and before the 30 September 2016 subject to state aid limits.
For guidance please view the GOV.UK state aid pages.
For further information on this exemption and to obtain details on how to apply please contact our section using the contact details provided on this page.
There will be 100% rate relief for new fibre infrastructure for a five year period from 1 April 2017 to support the rollout of new full-fibre broadband and infrastructure and future 5G communications to homes and businesses. The legislation detailing this relief is yet to be finalised.
There will be a £1,500 rates discount available for office space occupied by local newspapers. This will be for a maximum of one discount per local newspaper and per hereditament for 2 years from 1 April 2017 subject to state de minimis guidelines.
This relief is funded by central government.
The Government announced on 8 March 2017 that it would make available a discretionary fund of £300 million over four years from 2017/18 to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the revaluation.
Preston City Council has been allocated:-
These funds will be distributed by Preston City Council on a discretionary basis to those ratepayers who have seen a net increase of more than £600 from the 16/17 year and have an Rateable Value below £200,000. Certain ratepayers are not eligible for the relief – please view the document entitled “Revaluation Support Discretionary Rate Relief policy 2017” for full details on the relief.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.