Help paying business rates (rate relief)
We are receiving a large number of emails and telephone enquiries. In the first instance please login to or register for MyServices which will give you online access to your Council Tax, Benefits and Business Rates Accounts. Most changes to demand notices can be seen immediately online, whereas the issue of paper bills may be delayed depending on staff resources and mail availability.
The Business Rates pages are in the process of being updated after the recent Budget. In the meantime please click here for details of the 2020 Budget
We can give discounts (known as business rates relief) on all or part of the bill for properties used by certain non-profit making organisations, in cases of hardship, or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period. The different discounts are:
- Small business rate relief
- Charitable relief
- Rate relief for sports clubs
- Discretionary relief
- Rural rate relief
- Hardship relief
- Section 44A part occupied relief
- Temporary relief for local newspapers
- Revaluation discretionary rate relief scheme 17/18 (excluded Valuation Office categories & Executive report)
You may also be able to appeal against the rateable value of your property
You don’t have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months in the case of non industrial properties and 6 months for industrial properties. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates. Some properties can get extended empty property relief.
Small business rate relief
From 1 April 2017 ratepayers with properties with rateable values up to £12,000, subject to the rules below, will not have to pay rates.The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000.
Ratepayers receiving Small Business Rate Relief that take on an additional property, which could currently disqualify them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.
For ratepayers with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 the small business rate multiplier will be used to calculate the rates bill.
From 1 April 2017 the criteria for small business rate relief is that you occupy either:
- One property, or
- One main property and other individual properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value that does not exceed £2,899
The rateable value of your one property or the sum total of all your properties must not exceed £19,999 on each day you are seeking relief. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.
For further information regarding this relief scheme visit business rates relief (gov.uk)
Apply for small business rate relief
We will adjust the business rates payable by all businesses that meet the criteria for small business rate relief, and which occupy properties within the rateable value thresholds set out in the scheme. For those eligible for the full reduction, the instalment plan on the annual bill will show £0.00 to pay from April to the end of the financial billing year. If you have a rateable value over £12,000, the instalment plan will continue to show lower amounts.
If you meet the criteria, you are automatically entitled to receive the reduction in your rates bill. Complete and sign the small business rate relief application form (PDF, 116KB) and return it to the Business Rates Team, The Leicestershire Partnership - revenues and benefits, PO box 10004, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 9EJ.
If your application has been successful you will be sent a revised rates bill(s) or, if unsuccessful, a letter will be issued explaining why your application has been refused.
Simply pay the new instalments on or before the due dates shown on your bill. Current collection and enforcement procedures will continue to apply to ratepayers who miss a scheduled instalment.
Charities are entitled to 80% relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. This can include offices used for the charity's administration.
Some organisations that are exempt from registration may also qualify, for example:
- Boy Scout and Girl Guide Groups
- Voluntary aided schools
- Societies registered under the Friendly Societies Act
- Church Commissioners.
Some organisations that are not registered charities, but which have been established for charitable purposes may qualify. In these cases we will decide whether or not the organisation can be regarded as a charity. Shops used for fundraising will qualify if the majority of goods sold are donated goods, and the proceeds of the sale are used only for the purposes of the Charity. We also have the discretionary power to grant up to a further 20% relief, which would reduce the rates bill to zero.
From the 1 April 2008, no rates are payable on empty property that is held by a charity if it appears likely that the property will be next used for charitable purposes.
Rate relief for sports clubs
Amateur sports clubs could be entitled to 80% mandatory relief by registering for Community Amateur Sports Club status.
To qualify as a Community Amateur Sports Club, the club must be:
- Open to the whole community
- Run as an amateur club
- A non-profit-making organisation which aims to provide facilities for, and encourage people to take part in, eligible sport
Clubs that also meet the criteria for discretionary rate relief could also receive a further 20% relief.
Community Amateur Sports Club registered clubs can claim 100% rate relief on unoccupied property if it appears likely that it will next be used for the purposes of the club. Community Amateur Sports Club registration also allows clubs to benefit through Gift Aid donations.
The Inland Revenue provides detailed guidance on the conditions for Community Amateur Sports Club registration and the application process.
If your sports club already has Community Amateur Sports Club status but you has not yet applied contact our Business rates team for a for mandatory rate relief application form.
Discretionary relief for non-profit-making organisations
Discretionary rate relief is available to certain types of non-profit-making organisations. The relief can be up to 20% if the organisation already receives charitable relief, or up to 100% if only discretionary relief is allowed.
To qualify for this relief the organisation must be non-profit making and it's aims must be either charitable or to promote social welfare (including promoting education, sports, literature, art, recreation and science). Membership of the organisation must be open to all members of the community and equal status must be available to all members. The organisation will normally be expected to make its facilities available to the general public where this is possible.
Discretionary Rate Relief for businesses
Any type of business can apply for discretionary rate relief. However, we will only award relief if:
- It is in the interests of Council Tax payers
- The application is in line with criteria set out in the Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines
- It is financially viable for the council to do so
Rural rate relief
Certain types of businesses in villages with a population of 3,000 or less may qualify for rate relief of 50% (100% from April 2017).
Businesses that qualify are:
- The sole general store and the sole Post Office in the village - provided it has a Rateable Value of up to £8,500
- Any food shop with a Rateable Value of up to £8,500
- The sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village - provided it has a Rateable Value of up to £12,500
We may decide to give up to 100% relief to any other business in such a village, with a rateable value of up to £16,500 - if we are satisfied the business is of benefit to the community.