The Small Business Rate Relief scheme was introduced by the Government on 1st April 2005 to help small businesses ease their rate burden. The scheme is funded through a supplement on the rate bills of those businesses not eligible for relief. The supplement is built into the standard non-domestic rating multiplier which for 2012/2013 is 45.8p.
INCREASED THRESHOLDS FROM 1ST APRIL 2010.
New thresholds for Small Business Rate Relief came into force on 1 April 2010 in conjunction with the 2010 Rating Revaluation. The threshold for receiving 50% small business rate relief entitlement increased to £6,000 (from £5,000) and the threshold for receiving reducing relief, on a sliding scale (1% for every £120 of rateable value from 1st April 2010), increased to £12,000 (from £10,000).
The small business rate multiplier will apply to qualifying properties with rateable values between £12,000 and £17,999.
APPLYING FOR SMALL BUSINESS RATE RELIEF
Prior to the financial year 2007/2008, applications for small business rate relief had to be made on an annual basis for the relief to continue, however this requirement has now been removed and, from 2007/2008 onwards, only one application is necessary for the period of the Rating List .
Ratepayers have until 30th September 2010 to apply for relief for the financial year 2007/2008 onwards.
In addition to this, the Government is removing the requirement to re-apply for the relief following the 2010 Rating Revaluation, therefore relief will continue on the basis of the original application. Relief will continue be given if the properties rateable value change but still fall within the qualifying thresholds.
Where Small Business Relief has been granted, the resulting relief will continue to be allowed in future years, until further notice, unless there has been a change in circumstances which must be notified to the Council. The changes which must be notified are:
(a) Where the ratepayer takes up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time the application for relief was made.
(b) Where there has been an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer which is not within the City and District of St Albans.
The criteria that a property had to be in the Rating List at the 1st April of the financial year the property came into the Rating List has been removed effective from 1st April 2009. This means that if a property comes into the Rating List AFTER the 1st April in any financial year from 2009/2010 onwards, small business rate relief can be awarded from the date the property entered the Rating List. This criteria has not been removed retrospectively, therefore this criteria still exists for all financial years prior to 2009/2010.
If you wish to discuss an application for Small Business Rate Relief or simply want an application form to be sent to you, please ring our Business Rate Team on (01727) 819270