Rate relief

Rate relief is not granted automatically. It is the responsibility of eligible businesses to apply for rate relief. Please ensure that you make an application if you think you are eligible.

Small business rate relief

From 1st April 2017 businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £50,000 will automatically have their rates calculated using the small business rate multiplier. Eligible businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000 can apply for small business rate relief to receive a further discount on their rates bill.

To qualify for small business rate relief, ratepayers must either:

  • occupy one property; or
  • one main property and other additional properties; providing
  • those additional properties have rateable values less than £2,900 and the total rateable value of all the properties is under £20,000.
  • small business rate relief is protected for up to 12 months for businesses that take on an additional property with a rateable value over £2,900.

In March the Chancellor announced measures to offer some protection to those businesses who would lose some or all of their small business rate relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The measures will restrict the increase to £600.00 per year for this financial year.  These measures were announced too late to be included in the calculation of the annual bills and we are in the process of identifying those businesses who will qualify for the additional help and we will write to those who are affected.

Calculation of small business rate relief

Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018:

  • eligible businesses in premises with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will be entitled to 100% relief on their rates bill.
  • for premises with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 the relief will decrease in percentage terms on a sliding scale, reducing to 0% at a arateable value of £15,000.
  • Businesses with rateable values under £15,000 must apply for small business rates relief in order to benefit. 

Rate relief for rural businesses

Certain types of business in rural settlements with a population below 3,000 may qualify for 100% rate relief.

To qualify the property must be occupied and be the only:

  • general store, post office or food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of less than £12,500.

In addition, the Council also has discretion to give up to 100% relief to any other business with a rateable value less than £16,500 in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000, if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council tax payers.

Charity and registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club. The Council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

To register as a CASC please:

Discretionary relief

The Council has discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. We can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is unoccupied for a very short period.

Interaction with other reliefs

If your premises are eligible for charitable, rural and small business rate relief you will only receive the charitable or rural rate relief. 

To find out more or to apply for any of the rate relief above please:

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB