Business rates are payable on both occupied and unoccupied assessments. However, there are a number of reliefs and exemptions which may apply.
A transitional arrangement scheme is in place following on from the revaluation of non-domestic property in 2010.
If there are significant changes to your business rates after a revaluation, the scheme phases in these changes by putting a limit of the percentage by which your bill may increase or decrease each year.
Transitional arrangements are automatically calculated by the council and your annual Business Rates bill will be amended in line with them.
Mandatory and discretionary rate
Charitable relief can be granted to registered charities carrying out charitable activities. The level of relief is set by the Government at a mandatory 80%. The council has the discretion to decide whether non-profit making organisations should be treated as if they are registered charities. If an organisation is granted charitable relief by the council then it is entitled to 80% mandatory relief. The council also has the discretion to award an additional 20% 'top-up' relief to non-profit making organisations.
Changes to Business Rates Discretionary Rate Relief
On 1 April 2013, as part of the wider localism reforms, the Government introduced the Business Rates Retention Scheme. Prior to this, councils collected business rates on behalf of Central Government and all revenue was pooled nationally then redistributed. From 1 April 2013 councils retain a 50% share of the business rates collected net of reliefs, but this also means that councils fund 50% of the increases in mandatory and discretionary reliefs.
To be able to deal with the change in funding the council undertook a financial review and assessment of all of the Discretionary Rate Relief funding for non-profit making organisations to create a new Discretionary Rate Relief scheme that is cost effective. The new scheme regarding non-profit making organisations was adopted by the Cabinet on 26 June 2013.
The scheme affects all new applications for Discretionary Rate Relief from 1 April 2013 onwards.
- Where an organisation occupies only one property and that property has a rateable value of less than £6, 000, the council will apply Small Business Rate Relief. This option will be reviewed every year.
- Where an organisation occupies only one property and that property has a rateable between £6, 001 and £11, 999, the council will apply Small Business Rate Relief if the level of Small Business Rate Relief is higher than the Charitable or Discretionary Rate Relief
- Registered charities and not for profit making organisations that have been awarded 80% relief will normally be expected to fund the remaining 20% of business rates that is not covered within the mandatory element