Intended to help ailing town centres and high streets, the Retail Relief discount can be applied to all businesses with a retail element including shops, cafés and restaurants, and is expected to benefit up to 90% of retailers.

However, although the costs of the discount will be covered by central-government funding, the rates liability is still calculated by local authorities. 

What this means is that whilst many local authorities have systems that will automatically apply the discount for eligible businesses, those that are using older systems will require the ratepayer to take the initiative and apply for the discount.

Not only this, there is also the opportunity for all businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 to apply for Small Business Rates Relief. 

Business rates is one of the most complicated of property taxes. 

Check the following against your rate bill to ensure that, if eligible, your business does not miss out:

  1. Premises with a rateable value below £12,000 should be exempt from business rates and no liability should be charged.
  2. Sole premises with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 pay a lower amount with the charge calculated according to a sliding scale.
  3. Occupiers who take on additional premises with a rateable value below £2,900 will continue to receive Small Business Rates Relief, provided the total rateable value of all properties does not exceed £28,000 in Greater London or £20,000 elsewhere. 
  4. Premises with a rateable value above £15,000 and £51,000 should be charged according to the Small Business Rates Multiplier which is 0.491 (0.497 in City of London) between April 1st 2019 – March 31st 2020.

If you aren’t sure what you are entitled to or would like a review of your rates bill, or if you would like assistance in negotiating with the local authority or Valuation Office Agency regarding eligibility for any relief, our expert business rates team can help. 

Get in touch to arrange an informal chat about your needs at ratinghelp@vailwilliams.com.