Small Business Rate Relief

*** Please note that with effect from 1 October 2010 there is a 'temporary' increase in the level of Small Business Rate Relief. The government have extended this scheme to 31 March 2017 and the Chancellor announced in his March 2016 budget speech that this increase would be made 'permanent' with effect from 1 April 2017. Legislative changes are required to enact this.***

Small Business Rate Relief was introduced from 1 April 2005 and helps to reduce the amount of business rates that you pay. It only applies to "non-domestic" properties so you do not need to include your home for which you will pay Council Tax, as opposed to business rates.

You may be entitled to relief if the property named on your Non-Domestic Rates bill has a rateable value of £17,999 or less.

Who is eligible for the relief?

The relief is only available to ratepayers who either:

  • occupy one property in England; or
  • occupy one main property and other properties in England as long as the other properties have rateable values of no more than £2,599 and the total rateable value of all the occupied properties must be £17,999 or less.

Eligible Properties (Hereditaments)

All ratepayers who occupy eligible properties which have a rateable value of £17,999 or less may apply to Winchester City Council to be charged rates on the lower multiplier (see calculation of the rate bill below). Properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less may also qualify for 50% rate relief. This will decrease on a sliding scale of 1% for every £120 rateable value between £6,001 and £11,999
*** Please note that between 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2017 Small Business Rate Relief has been doubled. Qualifying properties with an RV of £6,000 or less will receive 100% relief. A tapered relief between 100% and 0% will apply to qualifying properties with an RV between £6,000 and £12,000. ***

Eligible properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £17,999 will not receive any additional rate reduction, but may qualify to pay rates based on the lower multiplier.

The property must be within the rateable value range quoted for each day that a claim for small business rate relief is being made. Empty properties will not qualify for the relief.

From 1 April 2009, an otherwise eligible occupier of a property that comes onto the ratings list will be able to obtain small business rate relief from the date of first occupation rather than having to wait for 1st April in the following financial year.

Calculation of the Rate Bill

There are two non-domestic rating multipliers.

For 2016/17 they are:

  • 48.4p for eligible properties with a rateable value of £17,999 or less; and
  • 49.7p for all other properties.

Small business rate relief will only be applied to one property, even if the ratepayer occupies more than one eligible property. The rate reduction will be based on the location of the eligible property, not the location of any additional properties.
***With effect from 1 April 2014 a temporary amendment has been made to this rule. Any ratepayer in receipt of SBRR for one property who then takes on an additional property will keep their original SBRR for 12 months after the date of occupation of the second property. ***

Other Rate Reliefs

If you qualify for other reliefs then you may not be entitled to claim small business rate relief. For example, if you qualify for, or are already in receipt of, mandatory relief as a charity, CASC, Post Office, General Store, or Food shop then you will not qualify for this relief. This does not include transitional relief or any discretionary reliefs.

How to apply

An application for Small Business Rate Relief is not required.  If you meet the eligibility criteria and you do not receive the relief that you believe you should then contact us to make a claim.  If relief is granted the claim does not have to be renewed unless there is a change in circumstances.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by the ratepayer. The changes which must be notified are:

(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief, and
(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Notification of these changes must be given to the local authority within 4 weeks of the day after the day the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer's entitlement to the relief. A notification that the ratepayer has taken up occupation of an additional property must be by way of a new claim for relief; notice of an increase in rateable value must be given in writing.