The Chancellor has recently announced that 100% retail discount will be available to qualifying hereditaments for 2020-21. This discount will be expanded to include hospitality and leisure properties and there will be no rateable value limit on the discount.
Properties which will benefit from the Retail Discount
For 2019-20, properties that benefitted from the retail discount were occupied hereditaments with a rateable value of less than £51,000, that were wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.
For 2020-21, the Chancellor announced that he would expand the retail discount to include hospitality and leisure properties. He also announced that the discount will be 100% off the rates bill irrespective of the rateable value. Properties that will benefit are occupied hereditaments (except where properties are closed due to Covid 19), that are wholly or mainly used as:
a) shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
b) for assembly and leisure; or
c) as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
d) estate and lettings agents, employment agents
e) early year Nurseries on Ofsted’s early years register
1. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:
- Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
- Charity shops
- Post offices
- Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
- Car/ caravan show rooms
- Second hand car lots
- Petrol stations
- Garden centres
- Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
2. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:
- Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
- Shoe repairs/ key cutting
- Travel agents
- Ticket offices (such as theatre)
- Dry cleaners
- PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
- Funeral directors
- Photo processing
- Tool hire
- Car hire
Estate agents and letting agents
3. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public:
- Sandwich shops
- Coffee shops
To qualify for the discount the hereditament should be wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, cafe or drinking establishment. In a similar way to other reliefs (such as charity relief), this is a test on use rather than occupation. Therefore, hereditaments which are occupied but not wholly or mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not qualify for the discount.
4. Hereditaments which are being used as cinemas
5. Hereditaments that are being used as live music venues:
Live music venues are hereditaments wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Hereditaments cannot be considered a live music venue for the purpose of business rates relief where a venue is wholly or mainly used as a nightclub or a theatre, for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).
6. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities):
- Sports grounds and clubs
- Museums and art galleries
- Sport and leisure facilities
- Stately homes and historic houses
- Tourist attractions
- Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
- Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
7. Hereditaments that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:
- Public halls
- Clubhouses, clubs and institutions
8. Hereditaments where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:
- Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
- Holiday homes
- Caravan parks and sites
9. Hereditaments occupied by the providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register which are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the early years foundation stage.
The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive as it would be impossible to list the many and varied retail uses that exist. There will also be mixed uses. However, it is intended to be a guide for authorities as to the types of uses that Government considers for this purpose to be discount.
The list below sets out the types of uses that the Government does not consider to be retail use for the purpose of this discount.
1. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:
- Financial services (such as: banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, short-term loan providers)
- Medical services (such as: vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
- Professional services (such as: solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors) − Post office sorting offices
State aid applies to these schemes, and all recipients are required to comply with the maximum permitted funding under the relevant State aid rules – EUR 200,000 over three years under the De Minimis Regulation, or EUR 800,000 under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities (lower thresholds apply to agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture business). A business receiving grant paid under the Temporary Framework must also confirm that they were not an undertaking in distress (see Q76 for the definition found in Article 2(18) of the EU General Block Exemption regulation) on 31 December 2019.
Detailed State Aid guidance can also be found on the State Aid page of the GOV.UK website.
If your property meets the above criteria and you have not received the retail discount, please complete the application form below, and return it to the address provided.