Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.
Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.
Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page
You are invited to view and contribute to the The Mayor's Covid Record of Reflection
How to reduce your Business Rates
- Charitable Rate Relief
- Retail Discount 2019 to 2021
- Empty properties
- Hardship Relief
- Non-Profit Making Organisation and Businesses
- Part Occupied Relief
- Small Business Rate Relief
- Discretionary Rate Relief Policy
- Spring Budget 2017
- Pub Relief 2020/21
- New Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme 2018-2021
If your property is used wholly or mainly for charitable work you are automatically entitled to an 80% reduction on your bill, although you will need to apply to the Council who will send you a form to complete. We may also reduce your bill by a further 20%, which will mean that you do not have to pay any Business Rates.
Sports Clubs which are registered with the Inland Revenue as Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) may also be entitled to this relief.
To download an application form for this type of relief, please select Charity Relief Application form below.
In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a new relief scheme for retail properties that have a rateable value of below £51,000. Under this scheme, eligible ratepayers will receive a one third discount of their final bill. The definition of retail properties will follow that adopted from the previous retail relief scheme in 2014/15 and 2015/16. The relief will have effect for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and State aid rules do apply
Retail Discount will be awarded automatically where the qualifying criteria are clearly satisfied, and where not, application forms will be issued. The full qualifying criteria and application form can be found here:
For 2020/21 the Government announced an increase in the level of the retail discount from one-third to 50 per cent for that financial year (2020/21) for eligible retail businesses occupying a property with a rateable value less than £51,000. Retail discount is extended to music venues and cinemas.
The Chancellor announced in the budget on 11 March 2020 that Retail discount would be increased to 100% for 2020/21 to support businesses affected by COVID-19. The relief will also be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors.
If business premises have been empty for three months (six months for industrial) or more, there will be a charge of 100%. The empty period begins from when the premises became empty and not from when you take over responsibility for those premises.
There are exemptions from this charge, which include:
- listed buildings;
- From 1st April 2011 properties with a rateable value of less than £2,600.
- From 1st April 2017 properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900.
This type of relief is only given in extreme cases of hardship and for Businesses that are particularly important for the local community. The cost of this relief would have to be met by the local Council Tax payers. Under Section 49 of the Local Government and Finance Act 1988 the Council has a discretion to reduce or remit in whole the amount of National Non-Domestic Rate which a person would otherwise be liable to pay. The relief from rates which the Council may grant under this section is often referred to as 'hardship relief' because the Council may only grant relief under it if it is satisfied as to both of the following points.
- The ratepayer would sustain hardship if the Council refused to allow the relief; and
- It would be reasonable for the Council to grant the relief, having regards to the interests of its Council Tax payers.
For an application form please click on the following link or contact Business Rates on 01268 882237 for further information.
Non-Profit making organisations, whose aim is to provide a service to the community, may receive a discount of up to 100%. To qualify the organisation must be charitable, religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the arts, or the property must be used by a non-profit making organisation and used totally or mainly for leisure activities.
The ratepayer must not be entitled to mandatory 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;
The ratepayer must occupy the premises (no discretionary rate relief will be granted for unoccupied premises);
The premises and organisation must be of significant benefit to residents of the borough;
The premises and organisation must relieve the Borough of providing similar facilities;
The ratepayer must;
Provide facilities to certain priority groups such as elderly, disabled, minority groups, disadvantaged groups; or
Provide significant employment or employment opportunities to residents of the borough; or
Provide the residents of the borough with such services, opportunities or facilities that cannot be obtained locally or are not provided locally by another organisation;
The ratepayer must demonstrate that assistance (provided by the discretionary rate relief) will be for a short time only and that any business/operation is financially viable in the medium and long term; and
The ratepayer must show that the organisation will comply with all legislative requirements and operate in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner at all times.
To download an application form for this type of relief, please select the link below:
Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 enables the authority to grant relief on business premises that are partly occupied, as long as this situation is for a short time only.
This is a discretionary power, and the authority must be satisfied that the property is part occupied before requesting a certificate of apportionment from the Valuation Office. This certificate determines the rateable value for both the occupied and unoccupied parts of the hereditament, and the ratepayer will need to pay the charge on the occupied part only.
In order to apply for S44A relief, the ratepayer must put a request in writing to the authority including a plan of the hereditament. This plan must be clearly marked with the areas that are occupied and unoccupied.
A visit will then be required to determine that the plan is correct. If the relief is agreed upon, then a request will be sent to the Valuation Office for a certificate. Once this is received and processed, an amended bill will be sent to the ratepayer reflecting the relief granted.
Please contact Business Rates on 01268 882237 for further information.
With effect from 1 April 2017, occupiers of properties with a rateable value under £51,000 have their bill calculated automatically using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, unless they are entitled to another mandatory relief. This reduction is not available on empty properties.
You can get Small Business Rate Relief if you occupy:
- One property with a rateable value under £15,000, or
- One main property, and other properties, providing those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,900. Relief will be applied to the main property only. The charge will still apply to any additional properties (under £2,900).
The total rateable value of all the occupied properties must be under £20,000.
Amount of Relief:
If your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less, you will get 100% relief.
If your property has a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000, you will get a tapered percentage of relief.
Click here for an application form for the period 1.4.17 to 31.3.22:
Ratepayers can still claim Small Business Rate Relief prior to to 1 April 2017, subject to the Statute of Limitations - contact the Council for further details.
The table here provides detail on how the relief is calculated for the financial year 2020/2021: Small Business Rates Relief 2020-2021 Castle Point.pdf 211KB
Change in circumstances:
If you are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief you must notify the Council if:
- You take up occupation of an additional property, or
- You occupy another property outside of the Castle Point area, and the rateable value of that property is increased.
When you get a second property, you'll keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months.
The policy contains details of the various reliefs that can be applied along with how those reliefs are calculated and appeal processes. The policy also reflects the changes introduced as a result of the measures brought in to support businessses in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Supporting Small Businesses
In the Spring Budget of March 2017 the Chancellor announced that a scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business relief. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small business relief ensures 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), or
- The matching cap on increase for small properties in the transitional relief scheme.
The Council has identified those businesses which qualify for this relief and applications forms have been issued directly to those ratepayers.
The Chancellor also announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value of below £100,000. Under this scheme, eligible pubs received a £1,000 discount on their business rates for 2017/18.
In the Autumn Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced that the pub relief scheme would be extended for a further year into 2018/19. Qualifying pubs continued to receive a £1,000 discount on their bill for 2018/19.
Pub Relief ceased from 2019/20.
Pub Relief was reintroduced for the financial year 2020/21.The pub discount will provide a £1,000 discount to eligible pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 in 2020/21. This is in addition to the retail discount and will apply after the retail discount has been granted.
The Chancellor announced in the budget on 11 March 2020 that pub discount would be increased to £5,000 discount for 2020/21 to support pubs affected by COVID-19. Revised bills with the new levels of relief will be issued at a later date.
The government provided funding to local authorities to support those businesses that faced the steepest increases in their business rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation, particularly those ratepayers occupying lower value properties.
The Council's scheme limits increases in 2017/18 to no more than 3% (based on the business rate liability as at 31st March 2017 and that of the 1st April 2017) and is geared towards local ratepayers only. The relief to be awarded for subsequent years is:
- 2018/19 Award = 2017/18 award x 50% (for clarity this will be half of the relief awarded in 2017/18)
- 2019/20 Award = 2018/19 award x 50% (for clarity this will be half of the relief awarded in 2018/19)
- 2020/21 Award = 2019/20 award x 10% (for clarity this will be 10% of the relief awarded in 2019/20)
This scheme was approved at the Cabinet meeting held on 18 October 2017 and further amended on 14 February 2018. For full details of the scheme please see the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.