.

Billing of business rates

For information on rateable values, checking your balance, obtaining help with your business rates, mobile businesses running a business from your home, and how to report business rates fraud.

Due to the current pandemic situation, please only contact us if your enquiry is urgent, via business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to support businesses, find out more about business support.

What support is the government offering businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to support businesses with effect from 1 April 2020. Unfortunately, this announcement has come after 2020/21 business rates bills have been sent out.

As part of these additional support measures at this time, the council is currently processing changes to the Retail Relief scheme which will mean all retail, leisure and tourism properties will pay no business rates in 2020-21, regardless of their rateable value.

The existing Retail Relief scheme previously covered retail properties only, with a rateable value up to £51,000, but the Government has:

  • widened the Retail Relief scheme to include the leisure and tourism industry, including hotels, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms, 
  • removed the £51,000 rateable value ceiling level.
  • Children's Nurseries occupied by providers on the Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years, will not have to pay business rates in 2020/21. There is no rateable value limit on the relief. 

All those businesses affected will receive a revised rates bill for nil. Those businesses who pay by Direct Debit and now qualify for this relief will not have a payment taken.  All relief awards are subject to state aid de minimus regulations

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

Business premises that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (such as, banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders)
  • Medical services (such as, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (such as, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/Financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Business premises that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public. 

There is no rateable value cap on this relief for the financial year 2020/21 only.

Business Rates Grants

The government has made three grants schemes available to help support businesses during this period. The funding is being made available to help small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Further information can be found at GOV.UK

Small Business Grant Funding 

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) with a rateable value of under £15,000 or in receipt of Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March will be eligible for a payment of £10,000. 

The Government estimate that this will apply to some 730,000 businesses across England. 

Children's Nurseries who are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will also be able to claim this grant. 

Please note: we have issued letters dated 19 March 2020 to affected businesses, requesting them to provide payment details. This is not a scam. Collecting these details is essential to allow payments to be made as quickly as possible after 1 April 2020.

If you are one of the affected businesses please complete the secure form below with your payment details. If you complete the online form, you do not need to return the paper copy you received in the post:

Small Business Grant Funding payment details

Where we have reason to believe that the information we hold about the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate, we may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.  

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud, any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.

Rural Rate Relief Grant Funding

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) with a rateable value of under £15,000 or in receipt of Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March will be eligible for a payment of £10,000. 

Please note: please complete the secure form below to provide your payment details. Collecting these details is essential to allow payments to be made as quickly as possible after 1 April 2020.

If you are one of the affected businesses please complete the secure form below with your payment details:

Rural Rate Relief Grant Funding payment details

Where we have reason to believe that the information we hold about the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate, we may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.  

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud, any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.

Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief Grant Funding

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for one cash grant per business premises:

  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,001 and less than £50,999 will receive a grant of £25,000.

 If you are unsure what your rateable value is, you can check on the Valuation Office website:

Check my rateable value

The following exclusions are applicable:

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme
  • Businesses that are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme
  • Only business premises which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force for that date are eligible for the grant
  • Business premises occupied for personal use will not be eligible for the grant. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings, car par parks and parking spaces.

The person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the business premises on 11 March 2020 will be eligible for the grant.  

Please note: complete the secure form below to provide your payment details. Collecting these details is essential to allow payments to be made as quickly as possible after 1 April 2020.

Retail Relief Grant Funding payment details

Where we have reason to believe that the information we hold about the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate, we may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.  

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud, any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.

I have further questions regarding the government grants, can you help?

Below is a number of common questions we have received regarding the grants are:

Why are you giving money to all eligible businesses, isn’t it more appropriate to target funding to those affected by COVID-19?

The government acknowledges that the majority of small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality ratepayers are likely to be affected by COVID-19.

Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?

Any business who accepts this funding must confirm they comply with all the applicable State aid requirements. 

Is this funding taxable?

The default position is that these grants would be liable for tax, as are the business costs this grant is supporting.

Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants? (e.g. Can a hairdresser with three shops, each with less than a £15,000 rateable value, claim three £10,000 grants?)

Businesses can only get one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme. 

Businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property

Will businesses be able to claim support from both the grant scheme for retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors and the Small Business Grants fund?

No. If a business receives a Small Business Grant, they will not be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the same property.

Do businesses who do not pay business rates such as those operating out of Business Centres or Enterprise Zones qualify for Cash Grants? 

If a business is not registered for business rates, they will not get funding through these schemes. 

Charities getting Charitable Rate Relief get the Expanded Retail Discount, so why not the grant?

Charities receiving Charitable Rate Relief can’t be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief and therefore cannot be eligible under the Small Business Grants Fund. They may be eligible under the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund. 

How does this funding work with shared space/serviced offices, where tenants are not the rate payers?

Only businesses with their own assessment for business rates and eligible for Small Business Rate Relief, rural or Expanded Retail Discount with a rateable value below £51,000 will be eligible for the grant. Businesses which are not ratepayers are not eligible.  

We understand for some shared space/service offices, individual users do have their own rating assessment and may be eligible. In these cases we encourage landlords to support local government in ensuring the grant reaches eligible ratepayers.  

I am not the ratepayer – my landlord pays the rates on this space. Will I get funding?

This funding is to support small and rural businesses who are ratepayers on a property. These businesses are more likely to have on-going fixed costs. 

What are Business Rates?

Business rates are collected by local authorities and they are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs:

Valuation Office Agency (external website)

The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2017, this date was set as 1 April 2015.  

The council calculates the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by one of the two multipliers. The standard multiplier is 51.2p  for properties with a rateable value of above £51,000. The small business multiplier is 49.9p for properties with a rateable value below £51,000. 

If the new rateable valuation would mean a significant change in your rates bill, the Government has put in place a transitional arrangements scheme which phases in the increase or decrease in your bill. Limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value x the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. The transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill and are referred to as 'Transitional Adjustment'.  

Can I get any help with my business rates?

Unoccupied properties

You do not have to pay rates for the first three months that a property is empty, or for the first six months where the property counts as a qualifying industrial premises.

  • If the property has a rateable value under £2,900 or the property is listed or the property is classified as land then an exemption can be applied for as long as the property is empty
  • If the property has a rateable value of over £2,900 and is an industrial property then a six month period of exemption can be applied
  • If the property is over £2,900 and is not industrial then there is a period of three months exemption. 

In all cases the exemption applies to the property. To start a new exempt period, the property must be occupied continuously for six weeks before becoming empty again.

You cannot get a further exempt period if there is a change in ownership, leaseholder or tenant.

Business rates reliefs

There are a number of different types of business rate reliefs available. The types of reliefs available can change from year to year. 

If you apply for rate relief, you must keep paying the amount shown on your original business rates bill until we confirm any reduction by sending you a revised bill.

Some types of reliefs are mandatory, some are discretionary, and some have both a mandatory and a discretionary element. The cost of reliefs is shared between central government and the council. 

Small business rates relief

Small business rate relief is a discount for small businesses and other organisations based on certain criteria. 

You are not entitled to small business rate relief if any of the following apply:

  • the property is empty
  • you can get mandatory charity rate relief
  • you can get mandatory rural rate relief. 

Small business rate relief based on the rateable value of the property in relation to lower and upper threshold figures set by central government.

The lower threshold is £12,000 and the upper threshold is £15,000.

To receive small business rate relief, either of the following must apply:

  • you occupy a single property with a rateable value of up to the upper threshold
  • you occupy one property with a rateable value up to the upper threshold and other properties that each have a rateable value below £2,900 and the total rateable value of all properties is below £20,000
  • the relief is 100 per cent for properties with a rateable value under £11,999. For those properties with a rateable value are between £12,000 and £14,999 there is a tapering of the relief and the discount ranges from 100% at £12,000 to zero at £14,999
  • For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £50,999 then the multiplier applied in calculating the rates payable is changed from 51.2p to 49.9p. 

You can only get small business rate relief for the main property. 

If you take on another property that means your business no longer meets these conditions, you can still keep getting small business rate relief for another year. 

To apply for the relief or to discuss your eligibility for the relief please contact the Business Rates section on (01482) 394748. 

Charities, not for profit organisations and community amateur sports club relief

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club, and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs). 

A registered charity can receive 80% mandatory relief, they can also apply for an extra discretionary relief of up to 20%. 

A not for profit organisation can apply for discretionary relief. The types of organisations that can benefit from this relief include groups whose main objectives are charitable, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or fine arts. Sports and social clubs can also claim.

Community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can also apply for 80% mandatory relief if they are registered as a CASC with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. They can also apply for an extra discretionary relief of up to 20%.  

If you wish to apply for any of the above reliefs please contact the business rates section on (01482) 394748.

Relief for local newspapers

Office space that is occupied by local newspapers can receive business rate relief of £1,500 for the financial year. This was initially due to run for two years from 1 April 2017 but this has been further extended by the Government for until 31 March 2025.

If you wish to apply for the above relief please contact the business rates section on (01482) 394748.

Retail discount

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 the scheme, eligible ratepayers will receive a one third discount off their daily chargeable amount. The discount will have effect for 2019-20 and 2020-21. State aid rules will apply to the retail discount in the normal way.

On 27 January 2020, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury made a Written Ministerial Statement announcing that the retail discount will increase from one-third to 50% from 1 April 2020. In addition to the eligibility criteria listed below, the following additional premises qualify from 1 April 2020:

  • Cinemas
  • Music venues. 

To be eligible for this discount, the retail premises must:

  • be occupied
  • have a rateable value of less than £51,000
  • be wholly or mainly used as shops, including post offices, car showrooms, car hire, opticians, petrol stations, restaurants and cafes, including takeaways and drinking establishments.

Premises being used for the following will not be eligible for the discount:

  • financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawnbrokers) 
  • 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 
  • nightclubs and music venues 
  • cinemas, theatres and museums 
  • gyms and premises used for sporting activities
  • properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

This relief has been awarded to eligible businesses, but if you have not received it and think you are eligible, please contact the business rates section on 01482 394748.

Pub relief

On 27 January 2020, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury made a Written Ministerial Statement announcing that all eligible pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a £1,000 discount. This is in addition to the retail discount and will apply after the retail discount. State Aid Rules will apply to Pub Relief.

Rural rate relief

Rural rate relief is open to any businesses that fall within a designated rural settlement. They can apply for a mandatory 100 per cent relief if they meet one of the criteria below:

  • Sole post office or general store (selling household goods and food for human consumption that isn't mostly sweets), where the rateable value is less than £8,500
  • Sole pub where rateable value is less than £12,500
  • Sole petrol station - on an A road and where the rateable value is less than £12,500
  • Sole petrol station - not on an A road, and where the rateable value is less than £12,500
  • Food shop where the main business is the sale of food for human consumption and where the rateable value is less than £8,500. Not catering businesses or shops selling mostly sweets
  • Business of benefit to the community and where the rateable value is less than £16,500.

Since 1 April 2017 the Government introduced a scheme to enable councils to double the amount of rural rate relief from 50% to 100%, which the Council implemented. This will continue for the 2019-20 financial year so eligible businesses will receive 100% relief from their business rates.

Supporting small business

This scheme was implemented on 1 April 2017 and was designed to help small businesses who lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief following the 2017 revaluation so that businesses did see their bill increase by more than £600 per year.

The scheme is to last for five years, but the discount will end:

  • when your bill reaches the amount you would have paid without the scheme
  • if the property falls vacant.

There is no need to make an application for this relief. If you qualify we will automatically apply the relief to your account and send you a revised bill. If you think you are entitled to the relief but haven’t received it, please contact the business rates section on 01482 394748.

Any relief awarded under this scheme will be adjusted if there is a change in your circumstances, for example, if you vacate the premises or there is an amendment to the rateable value of your premises.

Discretionary revaluation relief

The discretionary revaluation relief was introduced to provide support to local businesses facing an increase in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The relief is cash limited based on funding from central government and is subject to state aid limits.

The relief was effective from 1 April 2017 and is available for four years, the amount of relief provided will reduce over the four year period. Please contact the business rates section for further information.

Tel: (01482) 394748

Local discounts

The council has a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. For further information please contact the business rates section:

Tel: (01482) 394748.

Part-occupied properties

You can sometimes get part-occupied property relief if you are temporarily not using part of a property included in the rating assessment. This is a discretionary relief, which means it's not guaranteed.All cases are considered on a case by case basis, You must not be able to occupy part of your property for a short period of time, and this cannot be part of your normal business operations.

You must apply before the relevant part of the property is back in use again, and granting of the relief is at the Councils discretion

Each award would end at the end of the financial year in which your award was granted.

If the Council decided to grant the relief we would then ask the Valuation Office Agency to provide a section 44A certificate to provide a split of the assessment between the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property. 

Hardship relief

In exceptional circumstances, we can give hardship relief to a ratepayer in difficulty. Hardship relief is a discount on the rates payable for a specific period. It is a discretionary relief, which means it is not guaranteed.

You might be able to get hardship relief if your business is suffering unexpected hardship (financial or otherwise) and all the following apply:

  • the circumstances leading to the hardship are both beyond the control of the business and outside of the normal risks associated with running a business
  • the difficulties are temporary and the business has a good chance of being viable in the long term
  • the business might fail if we do not give hardship relief. 

You must be able to show you are taking reasonable steps to help yourself. We would expect you as a business owner to do everything you can to tackle the problems you are facing. This might mean, for example, getting business advice, reducing overheads, reviewing pricing, offering discounts, extending the range of stock or services, or negotiating with creditors.

You cannot get hardship relief to help establish a new business, unless the viability of the business is threatened by events you could not reasonably have foreseen.

Do I pay rates if I run a business from home?

If part of the property is set aside, modified and only used for business purposes then business rates may be payable for that part.

The council tax for the remaining domestic part of the property may be adjusted accordingly. Each case is determined by the Valuation Office Agency.

The Valuation Office Agency website can provide further information:

Valuation Office Agency (external website)

Do I pay rates if my business is mobile?

No, business rates are only assessed on property that is used permanently for business purposes, however, if you have a license to occupy a temporary site permanently, then business rates are payable.

If you need any further information please get in touch by:

Email: business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk

How do I report someone I believe is committing business rates fraud?

Your can report suspected fraud by any of the following methods:

CON_TAB
 Get in touch
Phone
(01482) 394949 (24 hour hotline)
Text message
07786 200850
Email
reportfraud@eastriding.gov.uk
Post
Fraud Investigation and Enforcement Team
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
Beverley
HU17 9BA