Business Rates Reductions

Reliefs

Service update: Business rates - Coronavirus Information

Tier 3 business grants from 26 December and Tier 4 business grants from 30 December (applications from January)

From Saturday 26 December 2020 at 00:01 am the Isle of Wight entered Tier 3 'Very High' COVID-19 restrictions.

From Thursday 31 December 2020 at 00:01 am the Isle of Wight entered Tier 4 'Stay at Home' COVID -19 restrictions.

A range of new grants will be available to eligible Island businesses from January, via application forms on this website

The Isle of Wight Council continues to work hard to support Island businesses.

Relief for Pubs - £5000 discount for eligible pubs (now redundant)

A £5,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 was announced for the 2020/21 billing year. Due to the extension of the retail discount scheme to include pubs, this relief is now redundant as pubs will be eligible for 100% discount.

Current status: This discount has now been applied to all accounts. If you have not received the discount please contact the team at business.rates@iow.gov.uk.  

Information about Budget 2020

Business Rates Nursery Discount - 100% for child care providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register. On 18 March 2020, in response to the coronavirus, the Government announced that many childcare providers would pay no business rates in 2020/21. This relief will apply to hereditaments 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.

Current status: This discount has now been applied to all accounts.  If you have not received the discount please contact the team at business.rates@iow.gov.uk.

For more information please see our frequently asked questions or view the government advice on financial support for businesses during coronavirus.

Supporting small businesses

The supporting small businesses relief will 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 or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month).
  • the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme.  

Mandatory Charity Relief

Section 43 of the Local Government Finance Act1988 allows mandatory relief (80%) to be granted on premises where the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity and the premises are wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes and amended by the Local Government Act 2003 to include Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) which are registered with HMRC as a CASC. These organisations can receive the mandatory (80%) relief - Apply for Mandatory Charity Relief.

Charitable Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from Business Rates on any non-domestic property, which is wholly, or mainly, used for charitable purposes.  Where 80% Mandatory Relief has been granted, the Council has the discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of a Charity’s bill - Apply for Charitable Discretionary Relief.

The Council has discretion to remit all or part of the bill for certain non-profit making bodies that are not entitled to Mandatory Relief.  The Council’s discretionary rate relief policy has been reviewed due to changes in legislation under the Local Government Finance Bill and the Business Rate Retention Scheme which comes into effect from 1st April 2013 - Apply for Discretionary Non Mandatory Relief.

Community amateur sports club

The Charity Commissioners now also recognise most community amateur sports clubs as charitable.  Sports clubs will need to be registered with the Inland Revenue and make their facilities available to all members of the public for improving health and fitness.  Online services and guidance can be viewed on the Charity Commission website.

Rural Rate Relief

Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to relief. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50% of the full charge whilst the local authority also has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. The 2016 Autumn Statement confirmed the doubling of rural rate relief from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2017. Local authorities will be expected to use their local discount powers to grant 100% rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers from 1 April 2017 - Apply for Rural Rate Relief.

Localism Rate Relief

Discretionary relief is given at the discretion of the Council and up to 100% can be given to a ratepayer not entitled to mandatory rate relief (Charity or Rural Rate Relief).

The ratepayer must not be an organisation that could receive relief as a non-profit making organisation or as a sports club or similar and the premises and organisation must be of significant benefit to residents of the island.

The premises and organisation must relieve the Isle of Wight Council of providing similar facilities. 

The ratepayer must:

  • occupy the premises (no discretionary rate relief will be granted for unoccupied premises)  
  • provide facilities to certain priority groups such as elderly, disabled, minority groups, disadvantaged groups     
  • provide significant employment opportunities to residents on the island or provide the residents of the Island with such services, opportunities or facilities that cannot be obtained locally or are not provided locally by another organisation   
  • demonstrate that assistance (provided by the discretionary relief) will be for a short time only and that any business / operation is financially viable in the medium and long term
  • show that the organisation will comply with all legislative requirements and operate in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner at all times

Apply Localism Rate Relief

Section 44A Relief

Where part of a property is unoccupied for a short time, the Council can ask the Valuation Officer to apportion the Rateable Value of the property between the occupied and unoccupied parts.  The empty part will receive complete exemption for three months (or six for an industrial property). 

After the initial rate-free period expires the occupied business rate will apply to the whole property.  If you wish to apply for part unoccupied rates please send an A4 plan of the property as soon as the area has been cleared highlighting the “empty” areas for which relief is requested to the Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) - Apply for Section 44A Relief

State Aid guidance

View the information  provided by GOV.uk on State Aid Guidance


Hardship

In very exceptional circumstances the council may remit payment of rates where it is satisfied that the ratepayer would sustain hardship if it did not do so and it is reasonable for it to do so having regard to the interests of its council taxpayers.

Qualifying criteria for Hardship Relief

Hardship Relief may be awarded to a limited company as well as to an individual, or groups of individuals in the case of partnerships. A ratepayer may make application for Hardship Relief whether they are subject to either occupied rates or empty property rates. All relevant factors affecting the ability of a business to meet its liability for rates should be taken into account. The 'interests' of council tax payers may go wider than direct financial interests. For example, where employment prospects in the area would be badly affected by a company going out of business, or where the amenities of an area would be severely affected, for instance, by the closure of the only shop in a village. In order for the council to consider granting hardship relief, an application must be made in writing, including copies of fully audited accounts - Apply for Hardship Relief.

View the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

To view and download application forms please click on the relevant links below:

Properties in disrepair

Generally disrepair does not affect the rateable value of properties.  The rating system normally treats properties as being in a reasonable state of repair, however there are exceptions. A property might be in disrepair because:

  • it has fallen into disrepair over time
  • it has been damaged 
  • it has been vandalised 
  • there has been a fire or a flood

If work is being undertaken to repair a property and it would be considered economically reasonable then the property is treated as already being in reasonable repair for rating purposes. Depending on the extent of the work being undertaken to improve, extend or enhance a property, it may be that the valuation can be reduced to nil, whilst the works are underway, however the work must be much more than repairs. A reduction will usually be appropriate only when the works are to create a materially different property to the one that currently exists and at the point where the cost to restore the property to its original use is no longer economic in relation to its rateable value. You should contact the Valuation Office as soon as possible and provide all the evidence which supports your view that the property is in a state of substantial disrepair so that the valuation officer can investigate the situation.  An inspection by the valuation officer may be required. For further information visit the Valuation Office Agency website, email ratingsouthwest@voa.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 03000 501 501.