Retail Relief

Expanded retail discount

At the Budget on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Government would provide additional business rates support for eligible retail, hospitality, leisure businesses in England occupying a qualifying property.

As temporary measure for 2021/22 he announced that:

  • The expanded retail discount (2020/21) will be extended for three months for eligible properties, at 100% relief, uncapped, for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.
  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, the expanded retail discount would apply at 66% relief for eligible properties in the scheme, with a cash cap of £2m for businesses that were required to close as at 5 January 2021, and up to £105,000 for business permitted to open at that date.
  • For the expanded retail discount 2021/22 businesses may choose to opt out of support by providing billing authorities notification of their request to refuse support, per eligible hereditament.

To be eligible for this discount, the retail premises must:

  • be occupied
  • be wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinema, live music venues, hotels, guest and boarding premises, self catering accommodation, sport and leisure facilities, tourist attractions, community halls and clubhouses used by for assembly and leisure by visiting members of the public.

Premises being used for the following will not be eligible for the discount:

  • financial services (for example banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)
  • medical services (for example vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • professional services (for example solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)
  • post office sorting offices
  • properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

The Government has provided guidance on the types of businesses that qualify for this discount.

 

How much relief will be available

Subject to the cash caps, the total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2021/22 under this scheme is:

  1. for chargeable days from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, 100% of the chargeable amount
  2. for chargeable days from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, 66% of the chargeable amount subject to cash caps

 

What are Cash caps?

Under the cash caps, a ratepayer may only receive up to the following cash caps of Expanded Retail Discount in 2021/22 ignoring any relief for the period before 1 July 2021:

  1. £2 million for ratepayers meeting the eligibility for the closed cash cap test set i.e. the business was required to close under the lockdown restrictions that came into force on 5 January 2021, or
  2. £105,000 for all other ratepayers.

No ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £2 million cash cap across all of their hereditaments in England.

Where a ratepayer eligible for the closed cash cap also occupies hereditaments which do not meet the criteria for the closed cash cap and the value of the discount on the closed hereditaments is less than £2 million then they may also claim the discount on other eligible hereditaments but only up to the cap of £105,000 in respect of those other eligible hereditaments. For example, such a ratepayer whose rate bill from 1 July 2021 onwards on hereditaments eligible for the closed cash cap is £1 million and also occupies other eligible hereditaments with a rates bill of £3 million is able to claim up to £1,105,000 in discount from 1 July 2021 onwards (£1million on their closed hereditament and then up to the £105,000 cash cap on their other eligible hereditaments).

Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one ratepayer for the purposes of the cash caps. A ratepayer shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another:

  1. where both ratepayers are companies, and
    one is a subsidiary of the other, or
    ii. both are subsidiaries of the same company; or
  2. where only one ratepayer is a company, the other ratepayer (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other.

How to apply for discount

We will automatically apply the discount to properties that we think will qualify. If you feel your business fits the criteria for the discount and have not received it, you can apply for retail discount by completing the form below.

LOCAL DISCRETIONARY RETAIL DISCOUNT 2019-20 AND 2020-21 ONLINE APPLICATION FORM

LOCAL DISCRETIONARY RETAIL DISCOUNT ONLINE APPLICATION FORM

For certain occupied Retail properties with a Rateable Value below £51,000 or below
Property address for which Discretionary Retail Rate Relief is now sought
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State/Province
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