In late December 2021 the Government, through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities introduced new regulations to support businesses entitled to Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (otherwise known as CARF).
This fund was made available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for other support linked to business rates.
This relief is payable for the 2021-22 financial year only to businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact
How will relief be provided?
- Relief will be granted to businesses using discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. This means that rather than providing a physical monetary payment, relief will be awarded through business rates accounts via our business rates systems.
- Revised bills will then be issued showing the amount of relief awarded.
- The relief will be awarded for 2021/22 financial year only and cannot be carried over to 2022/23
Who is eligible for the relief?
Guidance notes provided by the government to accompany the Covid Additional Relief Funding details business sectors along with the percentage positive or negative financial impact they have experienced as a result of the Covid pandemic. Stratford District Council has taken this information into account and have decided the following eligibility criteria for the CARF scheme:
- Businesses must have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.
- Businesses that are in properties with a rateable value of £1,000,000 or less
The following business sectors (as identified by the official Valuation Office Agency Rating List) have received a reduction in their 2021-22 Business Rates bills:
- Offices not included in other business sector categories
- Mining and quarrying
Who is not eligible for the relief?
- Any businesses that have received Expanded Retail relief, Nursery Discount, Mandatory rate relief or discretionary rate relief
- Unoccupied premises in 2021-22
- Properties owned or funded by the local authority
- Changes reported after 1st January 2022 will not be taken into account and will not be amended retrospectively after this date.
- Businesses not trading before 1 April 2021
The award process
- Reliefs has been calculated and applied to each relevant account on the Business Rates system.
- Following the award of relief, a revised Business Rates Bill was/will be issued along with a covering letter explaining the award and instructing businesses to declare if they do not qualify as a result of the Covid subsidy rules or are not financially impacted by Covid-19.
- Any business contacting the council to instruct they do not qualify will have their relief removed and a revised bill will be issued accordingly.
- Where relief applied to an account puts the account into credit, this will be refunded.
How much relief will be awarded?
- The amount of relief awarded to each eligible business will be equal to 29% of their Business Rates liability irrespective of their rateable value.
- By awarding 29% this will use the funding that was provided.
If you have not been awarded the relief and feel that you should have been entitled to please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is a dispute about the awarding or relief the case will be reviewed by the Head of Service.
The government will not accept manipulation or falsification of records in order to receive this relief.
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain this relief.
Any relief made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any reliefs paid in error.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council's policy can be found here