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2018 Autumn Budget - Retail Relief

The Government has announced a new relief scheme for retail properties that have a rateable value below £51,000. Under the scheme, eligible ratepayers will receive a one third discount of their daily chargeable amount.

The relief will last for two years from 1 April 2019 and will be applied to eligible properties after all other reliefs have been deducted. The relief will be one third of the remaining rates bill.

In a written ministerial statement on 27 January 2020 the Government announced that the retail relief will be increased to 50 per cent from 1 April 2020 for one year only. Ratepayers will be required to complete a declaration if they receive any other relief which could be classed as State Aid.

At the Budget the Chancellor announced that the business rates retail discount would be increased to 100% and expanded to cover the leisure and hospitality sectors, as part of the Government's response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. On the 17 March the Chancellor confirmed that the Government would also be removing the £51,000 rateable value threshold for the expanded retail discount for 2020-21.

Which properties will benefit from relief?

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied, have a rateable value of less than £51,000 and be wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. This means premises that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public, such as:

Shops (e.g. florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licenses, 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)

Premises that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public, such as:

Hair and beauty services (hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops etc.) Shoe repairs/ key cutting, Travel Agents, Ticket Offices, Dry Cleaners, Launderettes, PC/TV domestic appliance repair, Funeral Directors, Photo Processing, Tool Hire, Car Hire.

Premises 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.

From 1st April 2020 the list of qualifying properties has been expanded to include cinemas and live music venues.

Exclusions

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

Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)

Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)

Medical Services (e.g.vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)

Professional Services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers, tutors)

Post Office sorting offices.

Leisure and sporting venues  (e.g. theatres, museums, nightclubs, gyms)

If you occupy a retail property and receive a bill which does not show the retail relief, please contact the business rates team to apply. Please note that you do not need to pay anyone to claim the relief on your behalf . It is Government's view that  paying a third party to claim relief to which a business is already entitled, diverts rate relief away from those businesses that really need it.