Supporting Small Businesses Discretionary Relief
Empty Rates
Mandatory and or Discretionary Reliefs for Charities and Organisations established as not for profit 
Discretionary Rate Relief for non charitable organsations established for profit
Discretionary Hardship Rate Relief
Partly Occupied Property Relief - Section 44(A) Relief 
Public House Relief 2020/21
Local Newspaper Relief
Discretionary Revaluation Relief 
Retail Discount for financial year 2019-20 and 2020-21

Nursery Discount 2020/21
State Aid and Discretionary Rate Relief

 

Supporting Small Businesses Discretionary Relief

Supporting Small Businesses relief is to help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills.

The increase will be limited to the greater of:

a) a percentage increase p.a. of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation. Unlike the transitional relief scheme, for the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or

b) a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something.

In the first year of the scheme, this means all ratepayers losing some or all of their small business rate relief will have the increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under small business rate relief and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (i.e. moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 in year 5.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme (this would be the charge payable as their true rates payable or the charge calculated under the Non-Domestic Rating (Chargeable Amounts) (England) Regulations 2016).

A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the hereditament (property) falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club.

There is no 2nd property test for eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme. However, those ratepayers who during 2016/17 lost entitlement to small business rate relief because they failed the 2nd property test but have, under the rules for small business rate relief, been given a 12 month period of grace before their relief ended can continue on the scheme for the remainder of their 12 month period of grace.

Other Reliefs

Properties eligible for Charity or Community Amateur Sports Club Relief or properties which are unoccupied are not eligible for Supporting Small Business Relief.  The presence of a Section 44a certificate will not further reduce the bill found under the Supporting Small Business scheme.

All other discretionary reliefs, will be considered after the application of Supporting Small Business Relief in accordance with Central Government guidelines.

Granting of the relief and State Aid

Relief will granted in accordance with Central Government guidelines .The relief will be subject to state aid regulations.

Recalculation of Relief

The amount of discretionary relief awarded may be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the hereditament, an adjustment to the liability or the awarding of another relief. This change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year.

In effect, the relief will be calculated on a daily basis taking into account the above

Backdating of Relief

Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 1988.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for supporting small business relief, please contact the business rates team on 023 9254 5470 - You will need your account number, we will be unable to discuss your account details without it. We are available between 9.00am and 5.00pm from Monday, Tuesday, Thursday,  Friday (closed Wednesdays and public holidays) or you can Email: businessrates@gosport.gov.uk

Empty Rates

Shops and offices are exempt from rates for the first three months after the property becomes empty. After this period full rates become payable.

Industrial properties are exempt from rates for the first six months after the property becomes empty. After this period full rates will become payable.

Some properties are exempt from empty property rates.

  • properties with a rateable value under £2,900* (*in 2010/11 the threshold was £18,000 and from 01/04/11 to 31/03/17 was £2,600)
  • empty properties of companies in administration or liquidation
  • listed buildings

Please note that the above is intended as a guide only, it is not a definitive statement of law. Further information is available from the council's Business Rates Team on 02392 545470 and the Valuation Office Agency's business rate pages.

Mandatory and or Discretionary Reliefs for Charities and Organisations established as not for profit 

Icon for pdf Application for Charitable and/or Discretionary Rate Relief [36.61KB]

Charities are entitled to 80% relief (Mandatory) from the rates on properties that are wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are also eligible to claim mandatory relief of 80%. The council can grant the additional 20% at its discretion. Where relief is applied, then the charge is calculated on the standard multiplier.

The council can also grant up to 100% discretionary relief for a property if it is occupied by an organisation that is not established or conducted for profit.

Discretionary Rate Relief Policy Guidelines

1.  Conditions for Granting 20% Discretionary Relief for charitable organisations in receipt of Mandatory Relief:

 i)          The premises are not occupied for administrative purposes only.
 ii)   The property involved is not a shop
 iii)The organisation involved does not operate a bar on the premises
 iv)  There is reasonable access by all sections of the community to membership (if applicable)
 v)  The property is not a voluntary -aided school or similar educational organisation entitled to Mandatory relief
 vi)  Meets local needs in the borough and benefits local people

 

2. Conditions for granting up to 100% Discretionary Relief for organisations not established or conducted for profit: 

 i)           The premises are not occupied for administrative purposes only.
 ii)  The property involved is not a shop
 iii) The organisation involved does not operate a bar on the premises (the operation of a bar will limit the maximum relief to 50%)
 iv)   Membership is open to all relevant sections of the community
 v)   Membership cannot be excluded by the votes of existing members
 vi)  Meets Local needs in the borough and benefits local people

 

Recalculation of Relief

The amount of discretionary relief awarded may be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the hereditament, an adjustment to the liability or the awarding of another relief. This change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year.

In effect, the relief will be calculated on a daily basis taking into account the above

Backdating of Relief
Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 1988.

State Aid

The relief will be subject to state aid regulations.

3. Conditions for applications for discretionary relief for all other types of organisation or for discretionary hardship relief

i) Meets Local needs in the borough and provide significant benefit to local people.

ii) Its activities are supporting or complimentary to the strategic objectives of the council. 

iii) Must be considered to be in the interest of the local council tax payers to grant the relief

Applications  under 3 above will require a separate application to be completed and will considered by The Policy and Organisation Board of Gosport Borough Council which is a public meeting and therefore information provided in your application may be placed in the public domain. 

The following information will be required in support of applications for relief under 3:-

a) Completed Application Form 

b) Past two years audited accounts or, in the case of a new business, an estimate of annual income and expenditure.

c) A comprehensive Business Plan incorporating a brief history of the business.

d) Cash flow forecast for a minimum of the next twelve months.

e) Any other information that may be required in individual cases.

Where other reliefs may be available the council reserves the right to require the ratepayer to make application for the other relief(s) first.

Recalculation of Relief

The amount of discretionary relief awarded may be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the hereditament, an adjustment to the liability or the awarding of another relief. This change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year.

In effect, the relief will be calculated on a daily basis taking into account the above

Backdating of Relief

Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 1988.

State Aid

The relief will be subject to state aid regulations.

Discretionary Rate Relief for non charitable organsations established for profit

Icon for pdf Business Rates Discretionary Relief Application [24.02KB]

For further details please contact the Business Rates team on 02392 545470.

Discretionary Hardship Rate Relief

Icon for pdf Business Rates - Hardship Relief [28.27KB]

For further details please contact the Business Rates team on 02392 545470.

Partly Occupied Property Relief - Section 44(A) Relief 

Ratepayers are liable for the full non-domestic rate whether the property is fully or only partly occupied. However, in certain circumstances, where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the Council has discretion to award relief for the unoccupied part. As examples, relief may be appropriate if part of your premises can not be occupied following a fire, or if parts are being refurbished.

To apply for Section 44A Relief we request that you send in details of the part occupation and how long it is anticipated that the partial occupation will last.

If we consider that this relief is merited, we will then get back to you requesting detailed plans of the occupied/unoccupied parts.  We will also need to inspect the property to verify the details.  We will send details to the Valuation Office Agency and ask them to apportion the Rateable Value between the occupied and unoccupied parts. 

Please note backdated requests are usually refused, as we are unable to verify the details.

Public House Relief 2020/21 

This has been replaced by the Extended Retail Discount for 2020/21

Local Newspaper Relief

Eligibility Criteria

The scheme will provide up to £1,500 relief for office space occupied by local newspapers in England, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, up to state aid limits to 31st March 2025

Local Newspapers

The relief is to be specifically for local newspapers and by that, the Council means what would be considered a "traditional local newspaper" The relief will not be available to magazines or on-line only publications.

Office Space

The hereditament must be occupied by a local newspaper and wholly or mainly used as office premises for journalists and reporters.

Amount of Relief

The amount of relief is limited to a maximum of one discount per newspaper and will be subject state aid limits

Recalculation of Relief

The amount of discretionary relief awarded may be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the hereditament, an adjustment to the liability or the awarding of another relief. This change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year.

In effect, the relief will be calculated on a daily basis taking into account the above

Backdating of Relief

Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 198

How to apply

Please contact the Business Rate Team on 023 9254 5470 for an application form.

Discretionary Revaluation Relief 

Funding for this relief is being provided by Central Government up to a fixed level for four years from 2017/18. The amount of the funding provided by Central Government reduces each year of the scheme. In the final year (2020/21) the Council will receive a total of £3,378 to distribute. Relief will only be granted for one financial year at a time.

a)    The scheme is designed to assist ratepayers who have suffered significant increases in rate liability due to the revaluation and the subsequent increase to their rateable value.

b)    Relief will not be awarded where the 2017 rateable value is over £200,000

c)    Relief will not be awarded where Mandatory relief is granted.

d)    In assessing any potential entitlement to an award under this scheme the Council will compare the following:

  • The rate liability of the ratepayer at 31st March 2017 after any reliefs and reductions x 365 (A); and
  • The rate liability of the ratepayer at 1st April 2017 after any reliefs and reductions x 365 (B)

e)    Relief will be awarded where the calculation A - B in the above paragraph would result in an increase above 5.0% 

f)     Relief will only be given to premises which are liable for occupied rates.  No relief within this scheme will be granted for unoccupied properties.

g)    Relief will only be granted to ratepayers who were in occupation at 31st March 2017 and in occupation on 1st April 2017 and for each day subsequently.

h)   Ratepayers taking up occupation on or after 1st April 2017 will not be eligible for relief on the basis that new ratepayers would not have suffered from increases due to a revaluation

i)     Relief may be awarded for more than one premises as long as all other criteria are met.

j)      Relief will not be awarded where the ratepayer has applied for a reduction under S44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988

k)    Relief will not be awarded where the ratepayer is entitled to Supporting Small Business or Public House Rate Relief

l)     Relief will be targeted to local businesses and not those businesses that are national or multi-national in nature.  Local businesses are, for the purposes of this scheme, those which have premises within Hampshire and Isle of Wight

m)  Relief will not be awarded for hereditaments wholly or mainly used for;

a.    Accountants and Accountancy Firms including Financial Advisors

b.    Banks and Building Societies

c.    Betting and Gambling establishments

d.    Cash Machines and ATMS

e.    Charity Shops (Whether Mandatory relief is given or not)

f.     Doctors and GP surgeries, and other publically funded service providers

g.    Foreign Exchange Bureaus

h.    Insurance Agents

i.      Pawn Brokers, Cheque encashment and Pay Day lenders

j.      Solicitors and Law Firms/Agencies

k.    Supermarkets and Discount Stores  and

l.      Telecommunications hereditaments including cable and networking

m.   Businesses that received 100% Enterprise Zone Rate Relief in 2016/17

Amount of Relief awarded

Relief will be awarded as follows :

  • For 2017/18 - 65% of the amount of increase payable will be awarded
  • For 2018/19 - 60% of the relief awarded in 2017/18 under this scheme
  • For 2019/20 - 45% of the relief awarded in 2018/19, unless the value of the relief would be under £50.00, in which case no relief will apply.
  • For 2020/21 - 55% of the relief awarded in 2019/20, unless the value of the relief would be under £50.00, in which case no relief will apply and no relief will be applied where the rateable value is over £50,000

Recalculation of Relief

The amount of discretionary relief awarded may be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the hereditament, an adjustment to the liability or the awarding of another relief. This change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year.

In effect, the relief will be calculated on a daily basis taking into account the above

Backdating of Relief 

Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 1988.

How to apply

Icon for pdf Discretionary Revaluation Rate Relief - Application [29.16KB]

Retail Discount for financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21

Central Government is providing funding for a two year period to give certain types of business 1/3 off their net rates bill for 2019-20   Please see below:

i) Properties (hereditaments) must be occupied and have a rateable value of less than £51,000 and are being wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments, also from 1st April 2020 cinemas and live music venues will also qualify.  Live music venues are properties wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience. A property cannot be considered a live music venue for the purpose of business rates relief where a venue is wholly or mainly used as a nightclub or a theatre, for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).Properties can be a live music venue even if used for other activities, but only if those other activities (i) are merely ancillary or incidental to the performance of live music (e.g. the sale/supply of alcohol to audience members) or (ii) do not affect the fact that the primary activity for the premises is the performance of live music (e.g. because those other activities are insufficiently regular or frequent, such as a polling station or a fortnightly community event)

ii) Shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments are properties being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public examples of which are: shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licence, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc.), charity shops, opticians, Post Offices, furnishing shops/display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors),  car/caravan show rooms, second hard car lots, markets, petrol stations , garden centres, art galleries (where art is for sale/hire), hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc.), shoe repairs/key cutting, travel agents, ticket offices e.g. for theatre, dry cleaners, launderettes, PC/TV/domestic appliance repair, funeral directors, photo processing, DVD/video rentals, tool hire, car hire, restaurants, takeaways sandwich shops, coffee shops, pubs, bars

The list above is not exhaustive and properties broadly similar in nature to those listed above may be eligible for the relief.

iii) There must be reasonable access to visiting members of the public.

iv) Properties used for providing financial, medical, professional and otherservices to visiting members of the public such as banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, betting shops, pawn brokers, pay day lenders, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapy, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors, tutors, estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies, Post Office sorting offices, cinemas, theatres, museums, nightclubs, sports facilities including gyms and car repairers/MOT's or broadly similar in nature to those listed above will not be eligible.

v) Any discount awarded will be applied against the net bill after all other reliefs and calculated on a daily basis (except for a locally funded relief, sometimes referred to as a hardship fund, under section 47 this is must be applied after the Retail Discount.

vi) The following formula should be used to determine the amount of relief to be granted for a chargeable day for particular hereditament in the financial year 2019-20:

Amount of relief to be granted = V/3  where V is the daily charge for the hereditament for the chargeable day after the application of any mandatory relief and any other discretionary reliefs, excluding those where local authorities have used their discretionary relief powers introduced by the Localism Act which are not funded by section 31 grants.

This should be calculated ignoring any prior year adjustments in liabilities which fall to be liable on the day. 

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. 

vii) This relief is subject to State Aid De Minimus Regulations and where the awarding of the relief may breach these regulations, relief will not be granted.All applicants must complete a State Aid declaration.

viii) Properties in an Enterprise Zone that do not qualify for Enterprise Zone relief are eligible to apply for Retail Relief if satisfying the above criteria.

ix) Splits, mergers and changes to existing hereditaments -

The relief should be applied on a day to day basis using the formula set out above. A new hereditament created as a result of a split or merger during the financial year, or where there is a change of use, should be considered afresh for the relief on that day.

Backdating of Relief

Where applications are received after 30th September in any year, backdating of a claim is restricted to the 1st of April of that year. For applications received before 30th September then claims may be backdated to 1st April of the previous financial year if applicable. This is accordance with Regulation 47 of The Local Government Finance Act 1988

How to apply

If you believe that you may be entitled to the relief and it is not shown on your bill, please contact the business rates section on 02392 545470.

Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21 

A business rates Retail Discount Scheme for occupied retail properties, there is no limit on Rateable Value in 2020/2021.  The total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill, after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs. In all cases properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties which are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, and live music venues, for assembly and leisure or as hotels, guest and boarding premises, self-catering accomodation, cinremas and live music venues.

We consider shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to mean to mean:

Properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

·         Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)

·         Charity shops

·         Opticians

·         Post offices

·         Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)

·         Car/caravan show rooms

·         Second-hand car lots

·         Markets

·         Petrol stations

·         Garden centres

·         Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

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

·         Hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)

·         Shoe repairs/key cutting

·         Travel agents

·         Ticket offices e.g. for theatre

·         Dry cleaners

·         Launderettes

·         PC/TV/domestic appliance repair

·         Funeral directors

·         Photo processing

·         Tool hire

·         Car hire

·         Employment agencies

·         Estate agents and letting agents

·         Betting shops

Properties that are being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public:

·         Restaurants

·         Takeaways

·         Sandwich shops

·         Coffee shops

·         Pubs

·         Bars

Properties used as Cinemas, Live Music Venues

Live music venues are properties wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience.

Properties that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities).

·         Sports grounds and clubs

·         Museums and art galleries

·         Nightclubs

·         Sport and leisure facilities

·         Stately homes and historic houses

·         Theatres

·         Tourist attractions

·         Gyms

·         Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours

·         Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls

Properties which are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:

·         Public halls

·         Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

Properties where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

·         Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses

·         Holiday homes

·         Caravan parks and sites

Properties which are excluded from the scheme - properties being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public are excluded from the scheme:

·         Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)

·         Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)

·         Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)

·         Post office sorting offices

Properties which are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

The above lists of property types are not exhaustive and we will consider each application. 

State Aid

The Government's assessment is that, given the impact of Covid-19 in the sectors receiving the relief, the Business Rates expanded retail, leisure and hospitality discount 2020-21 is not a state aid.

The Government has considered this matter in discussions with the European Commission and is content with this analysis following those discussions.

Further information on State Aid law can be found here

 If the relief is not shown on your bill and you think you may be entitled, you can apply here.

Nursery Discount 2020/21

This will apply to properties occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the early years foundation stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020/21.  There will be no rateable value limit on the relief and businesses that qualify will receive 100% relief.  Please click here for the Government Guidance .  Amended bills have now been issued.  However, if you have not received an amended account and think that you should qualify then  please email businessrates@gosport.gov.uk  providing your business address, a contact address, your account number and proof of registration.

State Aid

The Government's assessment is that, given the impact of Covid-19 in the sectors receiving the relief, the Nursery Discount is not a state aid.

The Government has considered this matter in discussions with the European Commission and is content with this analysis following those discussions.

   Further information on State Aid law can be found here

 

State Aid and Discretionary Rate Relief

State aid is a Member State's financial aid to business, but small amounts of aid (known as De Minimis State Aid) may not count as State aid if granted within certain criteria.

We are interested in De Minimis State Aid in the form of any financial assistance that you may have received from a public body (borough council or county council, HM Revenue & Customs, central government or a European member state). This will include locally determined business rate discounts for premises occupied elsewhere in England.  If the threshold limit is exceeded then relief cannot be granted and any relief granted that exceeds the threshold must be immediately repaid.  Further information on State Aid law can be found here