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Coronavirus

Business Rates reductions

Business rates COVID-19

Following the recent Government announcements, Expanded Retail Relief will give eligible businesses 100% relief from their business rates in 2020/21, more details on this scheme can be found here. We have identified those businesses eligible for this discount and have now sent out revised business rates bills.

The government also announced that many childcare providers would pay no business rates in 2020/21. Again we have identified the nurseries eligible for the additional support and have sent out revised bills to them too. We are currently working through the Government guidance covering the cash grants for small businesses, retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a view to getting the support paid to eligible businesses as soon as possible.

We have been contacting businesses directly to discuss payment of these grants. You can read more information on the eligibility criteria for the cash grant here, if after reading this you think you may be eligible, please complete our online form.

Due to the exceptional high volumes of grants being processed we aim to respond and process the majority of form submissions within approximately 10 working days. It is anticipated that if we are provided with all required information it will be sooner than this, however complex cases may take longer. All payments will be by BACS and letters will be sent once the payment has been made

Please bear with us and only make further contact if you have not heard from us within 14 working days from your submission. If you do need to contact us please email businessgrants@solihull.gov.uk

If you need to urgently discuss these grants, please telephone our Business Rate Team on 0121 704 8175 for help and assistance.

Where possible please email and only call us if your enquiry is urgent. If the above number is busy, you can also call the Business Rate Team on 0121 704 6218 or 0121 704 6631.

Details on all the support available for businesses can be found here.

More comprehensive guidance for businesses on COVID-19 can be found here.

There are several Business Rate reductions (reliefs) that you may be eligible for.

To apply for a reduction please complete an application form using the links below. For free information or advice contact the team on 0121 704 8175.

Retail discount

At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a discount for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, up to state aid limits. The first year of this scheme ran from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 and the discount was a one third reduction in the rates bill.

For the second year of the scheme from April 2020 to March 2021 the Government has announced an increase in the discount to 100%. This discount will be applied to the bill after the application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts and for 2020/21 any pub discount (see below ). The Government has also expanded the criteria to include businesses within the leisure and hospitality industries, whilst also removing the rateable value limit.

The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme.

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). For further information please refer to our Retail Relief Policy.

Your 2020/21 rates bill will include the relief and so you will not have to make an application.

However, if you believe that you are entitled to the relief and it does not appear on your bill please contact the Business Rates Team on 0121 704 8175 or email businessrates@solihull.gov.uk

Pub discount

The Government have announced that for the financial year 2020/21 eligible pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, will receive a discount of £5,000, up to state aid limits.

This is in addition to any retail discount that may be granted and will apply after the retail discount. The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme.

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). For further information please refer to our Pub Discount Policy.

Your 2020/21 rates bill will include the discount and so you will not have to make an application.

However, if you believe that you are entitled to the discount and it does not appear on your bill please contact the Business Rates Team on 0121 704 8175 or email businessrates@solihull.gov.uk 

Transitional relief

As property values often change between valuations, transitional arrangements are used to help phase the changes in.

After a valuation, the amount by which a bill can rise or decrease is limited. These limits continue to apply every year until the full amount is due (the rateable value times the multiplier).

Unoccupied properties

In general, for commercial properties, there will be no Business Rates to pay for the first 3 months a property is empty. Industrial buildings will not have to pay Business Rates for the first 6 months a property is empty. After the free period the full charge becomes payable.

Listed buildings and small properties (those with a rateable value of less than £2,900) pay no Business Rates until occupied again.

Partly occupied property relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

To apply you will need to supply us with:

  • a letter explaining the changes including the date of when your property became or will become partly occupied
  • a floor plan which identifies the unoccupied area

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs can get an 80% set discount off their Business Rates.

We advise you to read our application guidance notes before applying.

In some circumstances, we may apply discretionary rate relief to reduce the bill further.

Discretionary relief is awarded to charities and not for profit organisations who are most in need, for example organisations who have limited funds who work with the Council to support local residents.

You will need to complete an application form and supply your most recent financial accounts for the last 2 years.

There are two decision making sessions a year, in September and March.

We advise you to read our discretionary rate relief policy before applying.

Rural rate relief areas

If your business property is in a designated rural area (which has no more than 3,000 residents) you may be able to claim a rural rate discount of 50%, increasing to 100% with effect from 1 April 2017.

To qualify you must meet 1 of the following criteria:

  • run the only village store, or the only post office, or a food store, with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • run the only pub, or the only petrol station, with a rateable value of less than £12,500
  • run any other business of benefit to the community and council tax payers (as decided by us), with a rateable value of less than £16,500. (Discount up to 100% in this case).

You can apply for either:

Hardship relief

We may be able to provide hardship relief if you are experiencing hardship and your business is of importance to the local community.

Small business relief

You can get small business rate relief if you only use one property, or, additional properties have a rateable value of less than £2,899 and do not exceed £20,000 when added together.

With effect from 1April 2017 eligible businesses with rateable values of below £12,000 will get 100% rate relief on their liability. This relief will decrease on a sliding scale for rateable values over £12,000 up to £15,000.

From 1 April 2017 ratepayers who are not entitled to another mandatory relief or are liable for Unoccupied Property Rates and occupy a property with rateable value of less than £51,000 will have their bill calculated using Small Business Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier rather than the National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier.

For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Mazars Ruling - the effect on Business Rate Payers

A recent Supreme Court case changed the way that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) 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 decided to introduce legislation that reverses this in a number of ways. If you have been affected by this ruling please contact the VOA.

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