Changes to Non-Domestic Rates

Why not register today for MySouthend, our online facility designed to make your life easier. You can view your Non Domestic Rates bills, make payments, view your account details, payment dates and notifications as well as other online services.

Autumn Budget 2018

In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a new relief scheme for retail properties that have a rateable value of below £51,000. Under this scheme, eligible ratepayers will receive a one third discount of their final bill. The definition of retail properties will follow that adopted from the previous retail relief scheme in 2014/15 and 2015/16. The relief will have effect for 2019/20 and 2020/21. Application Forms will be issued to those that have been identified as having a potential eligibility to this relief. State aid rules will apply and as this is a discretionary power of the Council, Member approval will be required.

The Chancellors Budget 22nd November 2017

In the Autumn 2017 Budget the Chancellor confirmed that the government would bring forward the planned switch in the indexation of business rates from RPI to the main measure of inflation (currently CPI) by two years to April 2018. This will apply to bills from 1 April 2018.

The Chancellor also announced that the Pub relief Scheme will be extended for a further year into 2018/19. Qualifying Pubs will continue to receive a £1,000 discount on their bill for 2018/2019. 

Transitional Rate Relief and Adjustment

The government introduced a five year transitional rate relief scheme to limit the impact to changes in rate liabilities as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

Transitional Relief is granted if the rateable value of your property changes significantly as a result of revaluation. This relief means that the business rates that you have to pay will increase gradually. If you get this relief, we automatically include this when we work out what business rates you should pay.

To help pay for the limits on increases in bills there are also limits on the reduction in bills known as transitional adjustment. These do not cover changes in rateable value due to changes to the property. For example, if an extension was built and the rateable value increased you would not be included in the transitional scheme.

Transitional Rate Relief Explanation can be assessed here.

Small Business Rate Relief Scheme

On 1st April 2017 the Small Business Rate Relief scheme changed as announced by the government in their budget on 16th March 2016.

Ratepayers of occupied properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be entitled to relief under the scheme of 100%. Further to this, ratepayers of occupied properties with a rateable value of £12,000 to £15,000 will receive tapered relief of between 100% and 1%. The relief would be granted upon receipt of a valid application where all eligibility criteria is met.

Relief for Local Newspapers

On 1st April 2017 the government introduced a £1,500 discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in England, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per rated property, and up to state aid limits, for 2 years. This was extended in the Autumn Budget 2018 for a further year to include 2019/2020.

Empty Property Exemption

With effect from 1st April 2017 the threshold for an empty property to receive an indefinite empty property exemption whilst it remains unoccupied will increase from £2,599 to £2,899.

MAZARS Ruling - the Effect on Business Ratepayers

In 2016 a Supreme Court case changed the way that the Valuation Office Agency assessed the rateable value of premises where there is more than one occupier. This may have resulted in some ratepayers being liable for multiple rating assessments and they may have lost any entitlement to Small Business Rates Relief.

The Government has introduced legislation that reverses this in a number of cases, Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Act 2018 

Ratepayers who have been affected by the decision will be able to request that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) reviews their case, this review can be against the 2010 list, 2017 list or both. If the VOA identifies that the ratepayer should have their previous rating reinstated, the ratepayer’s units will be rated in line with the legislation and their valuation recalculated.

If you have been affected by this ruling, we would suggest that you contact the Valuation Office Agency to discuss the matter.

Page last updated: 29/05/2019