Business Rates - Retail Discount 2019-20 and 2020-21

The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it will provide a business rates Retail Discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. The value of discount will be one third (33%) of the bill for 2019-2020 and for 2020/21 one half (50%) and will be applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs funded by section 31 grants have been applied.

As this is a measure for 2019-20 and 2020-21 only, the Government is not changing the legislation around the reliefs available to properties. Instead the Government will, in line with the eligibility criteria set out in this guidance, reimburse local authorities that use their discretionary relief powers, introduced by the Localism Act (under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, as amended) to grant relief.

It will be for individual local billing authorities to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to this guidance, to grant relief under section 47. Central government will fully reimburse local authorities for the local share of the discretionary relief (using a grant under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003). The Government expects billing authorities to apply and grant relief to qualifying ratepayers from the start of the 2019/20 billing cycle.

You need to confirm that your premises falls into one of the categories listed below in your application.

  • Shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licence, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • MOT/ repairs garage (open to the public)
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops etc.
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC, TV and domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • DVD/ video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire
  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs and Bars

Please note that the following types of uses are not eligible for retail relief:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional Services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting office

Also, properties not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.