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Which properties will benefit from Business Rate Retail Discount?

The Council have the discretion to discount business rate bills by up to one third over the next two financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21 for retail premises with a rateable value of £51,000.00 or less. The premises must be occupied and wholly or mainly used to sell goods, services or food and drink to visiting members of the public.

Qualifying businesses may include:

Premises used to sell goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (for example; florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licenses, chemists, hardware stores, newsagents, supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Garden centres
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (for example; carpet shops, shops selling double glazing or garage doors)
  • Car/caravan showrooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

Premises used to sell food and drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Premises used to provide the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (for example; hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops etc.)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices (for example; theatre)
  • Dry cleaners
  • Photo processing
  • DVD/video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

These lists are not exhaustive and it would be impossible to list the many varied retail uses that exist. We will consider the retail discount for any businesses which are broadly similar to those listed above. Because Business Rate Retail Discount is discretionary, we may decide not to award it if doing so would be against our wider objectives for the local area.

Which properties will NOT benefit from Business Rate Retail Discount?

Premises which are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the Public, or those which are not mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not be eligible for the discount. The following list sets out the types of use which the Government does not consider to be retail use:

  • Financial services (for example; banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (for examples; vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Post Office sorting offices
  • Professional services (for example; solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisors, tutors)
  • Other services (for example; estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)

If we decide that the premises are occupied by a business which is broadly similar to those listed above we will not award the discount.

How much discount will be available?

The amount of discount awarded from 1st April 2020 will be 50% of your net bill (prior to this date one third). This means the total amount granted will vary depending on the rateable value of the property. There is no discount for premises with a rateable value of more than £51,000.00. We will assess eligibility and calculate the total award of the discount to the net Business Rates bill after we have applied any other relief. Business rate payers who occupy more than one property will be entitled to discounts on each of their eligible properties subject to the State Aid De Minimis limits.

State Aid

State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is likely to amount to State Aid. However, Retail Relief will be compliant with the State Aid rules where it is provided under the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)1.

The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000.00 of De Minimis aid in a three year period consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years.

The Council must be satisfied that awarding the relief would not result in a business receiving more than €200,000.00 of De Minimis aid. This will limit the scope for multi-site retailers to receive this relief for all of their shops, especially if their businesses already get other forms of State Aid.

How to Apply

Mid Devon Council has taken the time to identify organisations that will qualify for this relief (subject to their “state aid” declaration). Organisations will be sent a revised bill and a “state aid” declaration; this should be signed and returned to the Revenues Section.

If you believe that you are due this relief and haven’t received a bill, or have any other queries concerning your Business Rates, please Contact us for further details.

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