Business rates reductions, discounts and exemptions

Retail Discount

Expanded Retail Discount

Which properties will benefit from relief?

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

a. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,

b. for assembly and leisure; or

c. as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

We consider shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues to mean:

i. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

− Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc.)

− Charity shops

− Opticians

− Post offices

− Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)

− Car/caravan show rooms

− Second-hand car lots

− Markets

− Petrol stations

− Garden centres

− Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

ii. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

− Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)

− Shoe repairs/key cutting

− Travel agents

− Ticket offices for example, for theatre

− Dry cleaners

− Launderettes

− PC/TV/domestic appliance repair

− Funeral directors

− Photo processing

− Tool hire

− Car hire

− Employment agencies

− Estate agents and letting agents

− Betting shops

 

iii. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:

− Restaurants

− Takeaways

− Sandwich shops

− Coffee shops

− Pubs

− Bars

iv. Hereditaments which are being used as cinemas

v. Hereditaments that are being used as live music venues:

− live music venues are hereditaments wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Hereditaments cannot be considered a live music venue for the purpose of business rates relief where a venue is wholly or mainly used as a nightclub or a theatre, for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

− Hereditaments can be a live music venue even if used for other activities, but only if those other activities (i) are merely ancillary or incidental to the performance of live music (for example, the sale/supply of alcohol to audience members) or

(ii) do not affect the fact that the primary activity for the premises is the performance of live music We consider assembly and leisure to mean:

i. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities).

− Sports grounds and clubs

− Museums and art galleries

− Nightclubs

− Sport and leisure facilities

− Stately homes and historic houses

− Theatres

− Tourist attractions

− Gyms

ii. Hereditaments that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public.

− Public halls

− Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

We consider hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation to mean:

i. Hereditaments where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

− Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses

− Holiday homes

− Caravan parks and sites

The list below sets out the types of uses that the Government does not consider to be an eligible use for the purpose of this relief.

i. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

− Financial services (for example, banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)

− Other services (for example, estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)

− Medical services (for example, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)

− Professional services (for example, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors)

− Post office sorting offices

− Casinos and gambling clubs

ii. Hereditaments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

How much relief will be available?

The total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill, after mandatory reliefs and, with the exception of the 2020/21 pubs discount, other discretionary reliefs funded by section 31 grants have been applied.

The eligibility for the discount and the discount itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

State Aid

Whilst the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Government and the EU provides that during a transition period State aid rules will continue to apply as now and will be subject to control by the EU Commission as at present.

The Government has notified the EU of its intention to bring forward an immediate change to the UK’s tax treatment of non-domestic property, in response to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency, and to seek clearance under Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Subject to this approval, the Expanded Retail Discount scheme will become a notified State aid.