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Business rate relief and reductions

Business rate relief and reductions

Coronavirus update

Read the Coronavirus Announcements and Budget page for details of how to get help during this difficult time.

Who can apply for charity rate relief?

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80 percent relief.  

How to apply

Use our mandatory charitable rate relief application form (PDF document) to apply for charitable rate relief.

Subsidy Allowance

The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. 

This doesn't impact the circumstances in which State aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. However, in the vast majority of cases this will not apply. The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. 

Read guidance for Complying with the UK’s international obligations on subsidy control on the UK Government website.

This guidance explains the subsidies chapter of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU, World Trade Organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments.

Who can apply for a discretionary rate relief?

We have the discretion to grant up to 20 percent relief for organisations receiving 80 percent mandatory relief. We also have the discretion to grant up to 100 percent relief to sporting, cultural and philanthropic organisations.

How to apply

Which empty properties are exempt?

Empty properties are exempt from business rates for 3 months, or 6 months for industrial properties, after they become vacant.

Listed buildings

Listed buildings are exempt until they become occupied again.

Charities and sports clubs

Unoccupied properties in the possession of a charity are exempt if, when next use they will be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Community amateur sports club buildings are exempt if their next use is likely to be mainly a sports club.

How to apply

Email brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call 0118 974 6000 for more details.

Who can apply for financial hardship relief?

We offer financial hardship relief in cases of extreme hardship and businesses that are important to the community.

Section 47 allows us to reduce the amount of rates payable. We will consider making a Section 47 award to applicants who meet the qualifying criteria as specified in the policy.

Read our policy below to find out more:

How to apply

Email brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call 0118 974 6000 for more details.

Full business rates apply

You are liable for the full business rates, whether a property is occupied or partly occupied. 

Discretionary discount

Where a property is partly occupied for a short time we have the discretion to award relief for the unoccupied part. This can be for a maximum of 3 months (or 6 months if an industrial building.)

How to apply

Email brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call 0118 974 6000 for more details. 

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

Who can apply for small business rate relief?

Eligible businesses with a sole or main property that is shown on the rating list with a value that does not exceed £15,000, will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100 percent. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, they will receive a 100 percent reduction in their rates bill.

Criteria for relief

This percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

(a) One property, or

(b) One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value, which does not exceed £2,899.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

Changes to small business rate relief from 1 April 2017

As from 1 April 2017 eligible businesses with a sole or main property that is shown on the rating list with a value that does not exceed £15,000, will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100 percent. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, they will receive a 100 percent reduction in their rates bill.

How to apply


At the October 2021 Budget the government announced that it would extend the current The Supporting Small Business Relief scheme has been extended to 2023. Ratepayers will receive the relief until this date or they reach what their bill would have been without the relief scheme, whichever is first.  

Ratepayers losing Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will have their increases limited to the greater of either:

  • a cash value of £600 per year, or 
  • the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme

Read our supporting small business relief guidance notes (PDF document) to find out more.

Contact us

We've applied this relief to all businesses that we have identified meet the criteria taking into account Subsidy Allowance Rules.  

You can email us at brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call us on 0118 974 6000 if you believe you may be entitled to this relief.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50 percent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

Businesses are required to complete a declaration regarding the award to either accept or refuse the retail discount from 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

The Cash Cap

No ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £110,000 cash cap across all of their hereditaments in England.

Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one for the purposes of the cash caps. A ratepayer shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another:

  • where both ratepayers are companies, and
  • one is a subsidiary of the other, or
  • both are subsidiaries of the same company, or 
  • where only one ratepayer is a company, the other ratepayer (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other

Who can apply

Properties that will benefit from the relief will occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • As shops, Restaurants, Cafes, Drinking Establishments
  • Cinemas and Live Music Venues
  • Assembly and Leisure
  • Hotels, guest and boarding premises 

See the Business rates guidance: 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme on the UK Government website.

How to apply

We've applied this relief to all businesses that we have identified meet the criteria taking into account Subsidy Allowance Rules.  

Email us at brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call us on 0118 974 6000 if you believe you may be entitled to this relief.

CARF scheme closed

 This scheme has now closed and all entitlements were granted by 30 September 2022.

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