Retail Discount

The Government announced in the Budget on 29th October 2018 that it will provide a business rates Retail Discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 for 2019/20.

The value of the discount for 2019/20 was one third of the bill after other reliefs have been deducted, except for hardship or Local Discount relief, both of which are deducted last. However for 2020/21 it will be all of the bill and there will be no rateable value limit.

Relief will be awarded to certain occupied retail properties that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. From 01/04/20 this will include properties in the leisure and hospitality industry along with estate agents, bingo halls and letting agencies etc.

For 2019/20 the award of this relief must comply with EU law on State Aid . There is a form which will be issued which requires you to confirm that you have not received any other State Aid that exceeds in total €200,000, including any other Retail Discount you are being granted for premises other than the one to which the declaration relates, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

Please note that relief will be automatically included on your annual bill for 2020/21. However, the State Aid declaration does not need to be returned.

Any relief granted will end on 31 March 2021.

Business Rates - Retail Discount - Qualifying Criteria

Properties that will benefit from the discount will be occupied properties with a rateable value of £50,999 or less for 2019/20 but any rateable value for 2020/21. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's advice on COVID19 should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this discount.

Your premises must fall into one of the categories listed below:

  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
  • Bars
  • Betting shops
  • Bingo halls
  • Car/ caravan show rooms
  • Caravan parks and sites
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
  • Charity shops
  • Cinemas
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions
  • Coffee shops
  • Dry cleaners
  • DVD/ video rentals
  • Employment agencies
  • Estate agents
  • Funeral directors
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Garden centres
  • Gyms
  • Hair and beauty services
  • Holiday homes
  • Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
  • Launderettes
  • Letting agents
  • Live music venues
  • Markets
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Opticians
  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • Petrol stations
  • Photo processing
  • Post offices
  • Public halls
  • Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Second hard car lots
  • Shoe repairs/ key cutting
  • Shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licence, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets).
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Takeaways
  • Theatres
  • Ticket offices
  • Tool hire
  • Tourist attractions
  • Travel agents
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours

Please note that the following types of uses are not eligible for retail relief;

i) Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional Services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting office

ii) Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

Calculation of Relief

The total amount of government-funded relief available for each property under the scheme for 2019/20 is one third of the bill and for 2020/21 is the full amount of the of the bill. There is no relief available under the scheme for properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 for 2019/20.

The eligibility for the relief and the relief itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.

The following formula will be used to determine the amount of relief to be granted for a particular property in the financial year:

  • Amount of relief to be granted = V/3 for 2019/20
  • Amount of relief to be granted = V for 2020/21
  • Where V is the daily charge for the hereditament for the chargeable day after the application of any mandatory relief and other discretionary reliefs, excluding those where the local authority has used its discretionary powers introduced by the Localism Act

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties, subject to State Aid de Minimis limits for 2019/20 only.

If you have not had relief and think you are eligible, or for further information, please contact Revenues:

Contact: the Revenues & Benefits team

Last updated on 03/04/2020