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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.

What are De Minimis regulations?

Awards such as Retail Relief are required to comply with the EU law of State Aid. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to 200,000 Euros ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling 3 year period. For more details about De Minimis regulations and State Aid visit the Gov.uk website.

You must tell us if you have/had De Minimis aid

If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid during the current or 2 previous financial years you must let us know.

Contact us

You can email us at brates@wokingham.gov.uk or call 0118 974 6000.

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

This is a new scheme of relief available to ratepayers facing large increases in their Business Rates charge as a result of the loss of some or all of their small business or rural rate relief following the revaluation of their business premises.

Some small businesses will potentially benefit from a cap on Business Rate increases. This Relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is the greater of:

  • A percentage increase p.a. of 5 percent, 7.5 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent and 15 percent (2017 and 2018 to 2021 and 2022) all plus inflation or
  • A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month).

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 State Aid 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 Local Retail Discount scheme was announced by Government in the Autumn Budget 2018 to apply in the years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March 2020 the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100 percent and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

The qualifying criteria is therefore different for each year, you should therefore read the guidance relating to both years and complete a form for each year that you believe you qualify for.

For 2019 to 2020 this discount will apply to occupied retail properties and will allow us to grant a third off Business Rates bills for the years 2019 to 2020. There is a rateable value limit of £51,000 and discount is subject to state aid limits

For 2020 to 2021 this discount will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties and will allow us to grant 100 percent discount off Business Rates bills for 2020 to 2021  There is no rateable value limit and the discount is not subject  to State Aid limitations.

Who can apply

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

  • As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments
  • For 2020 to 2021 only - cinemas and live music venues 
  • For 2020 to 2021 only - assembly and leisure
  • For 2020 to 2021 only - hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation 

How to apply

We have applied these discounts to all businesses that we have identified meet the criteria 

However if you have not had the discount applied to your business rate account and you believe you may qualify you can find the full guidance and application forms here:

2021 to 2022

In the budget on 3 March 2021 the Government announced it would extend the 100 percent discount (due to end on 31 March 2021) to 30 June 2021. Plus a further 66 percent discount (subject to a cash cap) would be made available from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. 

We are waiting on further clarification and software updates before this discount can be applied to business rate accounts. Please monitor our website for further updates.

As an extraordinary response to the coronavirus, the Government announced a business rates Nursery Discount on 18 March 2020.

This relief will apply to hereditaments that are:

  • Occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and
  • Are 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.

2021 to 2022

In the budget on 3 March 2021 the Government announced it would extend the 100 percent discount (due to end on 31 March 2021) to 30 June 2021. Plus a further 66 percent discount (subject to a cash cap) would be made available from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

We are waiting on further clarification and software updates before this discount can be applied to business rate accounts. Please monitor our website for further updates.

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