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Business Rates FAQs

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Non-Domestic Properties which are unoccupied may be liable to Empty Property Rates.

Historically, Empty Rates have been charged at 50% of the rate bill after transitional arrangements and any other reliefs have been applied. Liability begins after the property has been empty for 3 months. However, industrial buildings, listed buildings and properties with rateable values of less than £2,200 in the 2005 Rating List remained exempt from empty property rates even after the first three months had passed.

The charge is the liability of the person entitled to possession of the property and so could be the owner, lessee or tenant.

Changes from 2008

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced proposed reforms to Business Rates empty property relief in his recent Budget. These reforms became effective from the 1 April 2008 and the changes are as follows.

    Office and retail premises will receive 100% relief for a 3 month period when first falling empty. Relief will then end for properties remaining empty beyond this period and the full occupied charge will become payable.
    Industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% relief for a 6 month period when first falling empty. Relief will then end and the full occupied charge will become payable.
    Charities and community amateur sports clubs are exempt from the effects of these reforms, as are properties with rateable values of less than £2,200.

Changes from 01.04.2009

To assist businesses during the recession, the Government implemented a temporary increase in the threshold from which empty rates become payable. With effect from 01.04.2009 the threshold was increased from £2,200 to £15,000. For 2010/11 the threshold is £18,000.

Changes from 01.04.2011

The threshold is £2,600.

Changes from 01.04.2017

The threshold is £2,900.

The Government has recently amended the rateable value thresholds for Small Business Rates Relief in line with the revaluation of all business properties in England, effective from 01/04/17.

Eligibility Criteria (amended with effect from 01/04/17)

  1. The property must be within the thresholds given below; and
  2. This relief is only available to ratepayers who occupy
    • only one property in England, or
    • one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,900 and the total value of all the occupied properties is less than £20,000.

Thresholds (Rateable values held on the 2017 rating list)

Eligible properties with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will be eligible for 100% rate relief on completion and acceptance of an application.  This will decrease on a sliding scale for properties rateable values between 12,001 and 14,999.  Occupied properties with rateable values from 15,000 to 50,999 will not qualify for Small Business Rates Relief but will have their liability calculated using the lower “Small Business” rate multiplier.

Applications

Ratepayers should use the application form sent to them or alternatively complete the online form (see below) to claim this relief.   

It is a criminal offence for a ratepayer to give false information when making an application for small business relief.  Any change in circumstances which affects entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief, eg taking on another property / changes in rateable value to any of your properties, must be notified to Ashfield District Council within 4 weeks of the change in circumstances taking place.  Please note, if no change of circumstance occurs after 1st April 2017 you will not need to renew your application again until the next Rating List comes into force.  

Should you have any query on how this scheme applies to you please contact us on 01623 457200 or e-mail businessrates@ashfield.gov.uk.

Information on Small Business Relief for the 2010 valuation list is available by clicking here.

Small Business Relief online application form

or alternatively 

Download Small Business Rate Relief application form

The Council has the discretion to allow relief on all or part of your business rates bill. This is called relief under Section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act.

However, we will normally only do this in extreme cases of hardship and for businesses which are particularly important to the local community, taking into consideration the effect of unemployment on the community and the loss of service to the community if the business were to close. This takes account of the fact that local Council Tax payers will cover part of the cost of the relief awarded.

To apply for this relief, you should make a written claim supplying the following information:

  • The last two years' business accounts certified by the Inland Revenue.
  • A statement of your current income and expenditure.
  • Documentary evidence of any other debts outstanding.
  • A written statement from an independent body (e.g. CAB, Accountant) confirming your current financial situation.
  • Proof of intention to sell or let the property (e.g. estate agents sale details etc).
  • Any other information in support of your claim.

If part of your property is not being used and is completely unoccupied for a short time, the Council may consider giving you relief to reduce the amount you have to pay.

This is called relief under Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act.

Each case is judged on its own merits and will only be allowed if it is clear that part of your property is beyond your use for the short term.

To apply for this relief, you should make a written claim supplying the following information:

  • A detailed plan of the premises showing clearly which areas are currently occupied and which are unoccupied.
  • The date that the part-occupation commenced and when it is expected to cease.
  • The reason why the part-occupation became necessary.
  • Is there any intention to sublet or sell the unoccupied area?
  • Will any machinery, equipment etc be stored in this area?
  • Any other information in support of your claim.

If the Council decides to award relief, an application will be made to the Valuation Office Agency for details of the how the rateable value is split between the occupied and unoccupied areas. Relief will then be awarded to your property in line with the appropriate empty charge for the unoccupied area.

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Relief is given at a mandatory rate of 80% of the rate bill rate bill after any transitional arrangements have been applied. However, the council also has the discretion to allow relief on all or part of the remaining 20%.

If your Organization is not a registered charity but is another type of non-profit making organization, you are not automatically entitled to relief. However, the council may decide to give you relief on all or part of your rate bill if:

  • the organization is charitable (but not registered)
  • the organization is religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts
  • the property is used by a non-profit making organization and used wholly or mainly for the purpose of recreation

Charities and non-profit organisations can download an application form

The application form may be completed on your computer prior to printing by clicking in the shaded areas and typing the requested information, or by printing the form out and completing it by hand.

Please ensure that the completed form is signed and returned to the Revenue Division at Ashfield District Council.

The Government introduced changes with effect from 01.04.04 to the way in which relief is awarded to CASC’s. Currently, registered charities are entitled to 80% mandatory relief on any non-domestic property, which is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.

Local Authorities also have the discretion to award relief of varying levels under Section 47 Of the Local Government Finance Act to any non-profit making organisation used wholly or mainly for the purpose of recreation. As a general rule, Ashfield District Council currently awards 75% discretionary relief to non-profit making sports clubs.

Under schedule 18 of the Local Government Finance Act 2002, CASC’s who are registered as such with the Inland Revenue are also entitled to mandatory relief at the same rate as registered charities for any non-domestic property wholly or mainly used for the purposes of the club. Not only would this financially benefit a qualifying club but also the Local Authority as all mandatory relief awarded is covered by Central Government via the NNDR Central Pool, as opposed to only 75% of any discretionary relief awarded.

A club is entitled to be registered as a CASC if it is, and is required by it’s constitution to be, a club that

  • Is open to the whole community
  • Is organised on an amateur basis, and
  • Has as its main purpose the provision of facilities for, and promotion of participation in, one or more eligible sports

To claim this relief, please forward proof of your club’s registration as a CASC, together with a covering letter, to the Recovery and Business Revenues Team at Ashfield District Council.

For details of how to register with the Inland Revenue as a CASC, go to www.gov.uk/topic/community-organisations/community-amateur-sports-clubs/

The occupier of a post office, general store or food shop in a settlement appearing in the council's Rural Settlement List is entitled to rate relief if it is the only such business in that settlement and its rateable value is £8,500 or less, as is the occupier of the only pub or petrol filling station as long as its rateable value is up to £12,500.

Relief is given at a mandatory rate of 50% of the rate bill after any transitional arrangements have been applied. However, the council has the discretion to allow relief on all or part of the remaining 50%.

The Council also has the discretion to allow varying levels of relief on the rates bill on any other property within a settlement shown on the Rural Settlement List if its rateable value is not more than £12,000 and the council is satisfied that the business in occupation is of benefit to the local community.

Ashfield District Council's Current List of Qualifying Rural Settlements:

    Papplewick (part - also appears on Gedling Borough Council's list)
    New Selston
    Selston (Holly Hill)
    Selston (Annesley Farm)
    Selston (Skegness)
    Selston (Inkerman/Alma)
    Selston Green
    Jubilee
    Jacksdale
    Westwood
    Bagthorpe
    Underwood
    Brinsley (part - also appears on Broxtowe Borough Council's list)
    New Annesley
    Annesley Woodhouse
    Nuncargate
    Kirkby Woodhouse
    Kingsway
    Upper Coxmoor
    Lower Coxmoor
    Kirkby West
    Greenwood Drive
    Old Kirkby
    Round Hill
    Forest Side
    Carsic
    Huthwaite
    Huthwaite (Commonside)
    Skegby
    Healdswood
    Stanton Hill
    Fackley
    Teversal

Parties who qualify for Rural Rate Relief can download an application form.

The application form may be completed on your computer prior to printing by clicking in the shaded areas and typing the requested information, or by printing the form out and completing it by hand.

Please ensure that the completed form is signed and returned to the Revenue Division at Ashfield District Council.

 

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