On March 11 the Government announced their tax and spending plans for 2020/21 with the addition of a series of temporary rate reliefs and support for businesses in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
These new measures mean that some business rates bills already sent to businesses for the coming year will need to be corrected and reissued.
Hackney Council has put together FAQs for businesses and these will be updated as and when we receive further information from the Government.
What are the new support measures that have been announced?
- Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive 100% rate relief for 2020/21.
- Pubs with a rateable value of more than £51,000 and up to £100,000 will see their rate relief rise from £1,000 to £5,000 for 2020/21.
- Businesses who receive Small Business rate relief will be eligible to apply for a £3,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief.
My business has a rateable value of under £51,000 and I already receive retail discount will I need to apply for the new 100% rate relief?
- No – if your existing bill for the coming year shows 50% retail discount then you do not need to take any action nor make any payment. Your bill will automatically be updated to show the 100% rate relief and will be reissued.
My business has a rateable value of under £51,000 and is classified as retail, leisure or in the hospitality sector (including pubs) will I need to apply for the new 100% rate relief?
- No the Council will try to automatically identify your business as an eligible business for the enhanced relief and reissue your business rates bill as soon as we are able to.
- If you believe that your business should qualify but you do not receive a letter by 15 April you will be able to download an application form from the website to apply. During this application stage you do not have to pay your original business rates bill, however if your application does not fulfil the eligibility criteria you will have to pay the amount stated in your existing business rates bill for 2020/21.
- If you pay business rates on a pub with a rateable value of under £51,000 and already receive pub relief this will no longer be applicable as you are entitled to 100% rate relief for 2020/21 under your status as a hospitality business with a rateable value of under £51,000. You do not need to pay any amount stated on your original bill.
I pay business rates for a pub with a rateable value of over £51,000 but less than £100,000 will the new rate relief of £5,000 be automatically applied?
- Yes the Council will identify your business as an eligible business for the enhanced relief and reissue your business rates bill in the coming weeks.
- You can choose to pay your first instalment as stated in your original bill prior to your revised bill being issued, if you do this your subsequent payments will be reduced in accordance with your new bill amount. You may also choose to delay payment and commence these once your revised bill is issued, if you decide to do this you will still be liable to pay the full amount by the end of 2020/21.
I don’t receive small business rate relief is this automatically applied if I am eligible?
- No – If you have not previously received small business rates relief you have to apply for this. To be eligible you must have a rateable value of less than £15,000 and occupy one property (in some cases businesses can occupy more than one). You can apply for the relief online here.
I receive small business rate relief how do I apply for the additional £3,000 grant?
- Information and administration processes on these new grants are not yet available but you will be contacted as soon as these details are released.
My business is not eligible for any of the new enhanced rate reliefs will my business rates bill be reissued anyway?
- No your bill will remain the same and you must pay in the timeline already set out in your existing 2020/21 business rates bill.
State Aid Information
It is likely that the reliefs will constitute State Aid. If receipt of the reliefs would mean that your business has benefited by more than the permitted amount then you will need to advise the Council so that relief can be removed.
Guidance on State Aid can be found here.
Please note that all information provided is subject to ongoing Government guidance following on from the Budget 2020 announcements. For the latest updates visit the Business Rates page.