Exemptions and relief

Advice on claiming these discounts is available free from us. You do not need to employ expensive rating advisors who will usually charge a percentage of any reduction they may secure for you, and in some cases could end up increasing your rates bill.

Small Business Rate Relief

In the 2015 Autumn statement, the Government announced that the Small Business Rate Relief scheme (SBRR) would continue until 31 March 2017.

As a result, SBRR is available at 100% for ratepayers occupying single properties with a rateable value up to £6,000, with relief declining in percentage terms on a sliding scale of 1% for every £120 of rateable value over £5,999.

The relief is only available to ratepayers with either:
(a) one property, or
(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have rateable values less than £2,600.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all properties mentioned in (b), must be under £18,000.

From April 2014 however, ratepayers currently receiving SBRR that take on an additional property which would have previously disqualified them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.

The scheme is funded through a supplement on the rate bills of those businesses not eligible for relief. The supplement is built into the standard Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier. However, ratepayers of eligible business properties with rateable values between £12,000 and £18,000 do not have to contribute towards the relief and will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

A condition of entitlement to SBRR will be that the ratepayer must notify the us of any changes in circumstances, that may affect their entitlement to the relief, within four weeks of the day after the change occurred.

The ratepayer must notify the us, in writing, within four weeks of the change regarding the following:

  • Increases in rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer which is not in the area of the billing authority granting Small Business Rate Relief
  • The ratepayer coming into occupation of any property not mentioned in their application for relief (a new application form will need to be completed).

If these changes result in the ratepayer being no longer eligible for SBRR, it will end from the date of change. If relief is still applicable, it will be reassessed and granted.

If the ratepayer however, is still eligible for relief but did not notify the us of the changes within four weeks from the day following the date of change, relief will not be granted between the date of change and the date the ratepayer notifies the us in writing.

For further information or to apply Small Business Rate Relief please complete our SBRR Application Form and e-mail it to businessrates@epsom-ewell.gov.uk.

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Rate relief for charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)

Occupied properties

Where a non-domestic property is occupied by a charity (or trustees for a charity), and is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes, the charity or trustees are entitled to mandatory rate relief of 80% of the full rate bill or of the transitional bill where the transitional arrangements apply.

Clubs registered with the Inland Revenue Sports Club Unit as Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) are entitled to the same rate relief as charities.

Unoccupied properties
Mandatory relief may also be granted in respect of unoccupied properties. Where the ratepayer is a charity or trustees of a charity and it appears that when next in use the property will be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities), the property is exempt from business rates.

The question of whether an organisation is a charity or not is usually resolved by reference to the register of charities maintained by the Charity Commissioners. Absence from the register does not mean that an organisation is not a charity because it may be excepted from the register.

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Discretionary rate relief

The Council can grant discretionary relief to:

  • Registered charities up to 20% (as registered charities organisations are already eligible for 80% rate relief).  Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) that have registered with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, fall into this category
  • Other charitable organisations or institutions that are not established for profit and whose main objectives are charitable or otherwise philanthropic or religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts (up to 100% at or discretion)
  • Properties occupied by not-for-profit sports or social clubs or societies, or other organisations for the purpose of recreation (up to 100% at our discretion)
  • "Hardship" relief, where the ratepayer is experiencing difficulty paying and it is in the best interest of our Council Tax payers to grant relief (up to 100% at our discretion).

If you wish to apply for discretionary relief, please contact the business rates team for an application form at businessrates@epsom-ewell.gov.uk.

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Transitional relief

The conversion from General Rates to National Non-Domestic Rates in 1990, coupled with the effects of the revaluation that year, meant that many ratepayers faced large increases in their bills and others faced substantial decreases. The Transitional Relief Scheme was introduced by the Government to soften the impact of these changes by limiting the amount that individual rate bills may increase or decrease year on year, after allowing for inflation. Relief schemes were brought in with effect from 1 April 2000, 1 April 2005 and 1 April 2010 to phase in the effects of the revaluations gradually.

The national transitional relief scheme which was introduced in 2010 to help those ratepayers who were faced with higher bills ended on 31 March 2015 and as a result a small number of ratepayers may have faced a jump to their full rates bill from 1 April 2015.

We have put in place a local transitional relief scheme from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017. Properties that will benefit are those with a rateable value up to and including £50,000 which would have received transitional relief in 2015/16 or 2016/17 had the existing transitional relief scheme continued in its current format. If you qualify for this relief it will automatically be added to your business rates bill.

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Other relief

There are a number of other business rates relief which are not applicable in Epsom & Ewell but if you would like further information please visit the GOV.UK website.

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