Expanded retail discount

Please note the Government has announced further usage categories that will be eligible for 100% discount in 2020/21, including employment agencies, estate agents and letting agents, betting shops, wellness centres, spas, massage parlours, casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls.

A separate 100% discount scheme for 2020/21 applies to nursery providers on Ofsted's early years register who have premises which are used for the provision of the early years foundation stage.

The 2020/21 information below also applies to these additional usages. 

Expanded retail discount

The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply to occupied retail properties in each of the years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

For 2019/20 the value of discount should be one third of the bill for retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 and is applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs have been applied.

In response to the coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March and subsequent statements, the Government announced that for 2020/21 it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors and that there will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

The Council has now revised our Retail Discount scheme to include the expanded uses and eligible criteria for 2020/21. Please read the full scheme conditions for details on eligible retail properties before applying.

How to apply for the expanded retail discount in 2020/21

The council is working to identify properties that may qualify under the expanded usage and criteria and will look to apply the discount where it is able to identify eligibility. We are also working with our software supplier to enable the changes to be applied and waiting on confirmation from the Government on the State Aid rules to be applied to the expanded retail discount in 2020/21.

All ratepayers who received retail discount in 2019/20 will be automatically amended to the revised 100% discount once we are able to update our systems.

Where we have not determined usage/eligibility, an online application form will be published shortly to notify us of eligibility.

Suspension of payment of 2020/21 bills, including by direct debit

If, having read the scheme conditions, you appear to be eligible for the expanded retail discount then, currently, please do not make payments towards your present 2020/21 bill. The Council will suspend sending reminders until we have applied the new expanded retail discount scheme. If you have not received a revised bill by 17 April 2020, please refer back to this page to apply online, or, be informed of any further update.

If you pay by direct debit then please note the Council will not make any collection on 1 April 2020. Once the revised expanded retail discount has been applied revised bills will be sent to all affected direct debit payers.

2019/20 applications

Do not apply if you believe you are eligible for the retail, hospitality and leisure GRANT FUND. We have written to eligible customers.

If, having read the scheme conditions, you think you qualify for non-expanded retail discount which is not shown on your 2019/20 bill, please apply online.

Note: No applications for retail discount for 2019/20 can be considered after 30 September 2020.

State aid

Whilst the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Government and the EU provides that during a transition period state aid rules will continue to apply and will be subject to control by the EU Commission.

Under state aid you (or your company) cannot receive more than €200,000 (approximately £170,000) state aid in any three-year period. Retail Discount constitutes as state aid.

However, the Government has notified the EU of its intention to bring forward an immediate change to the UK’s tax treatment of non-domestic property. If approved, for 2020/21 the Expanded Retail Discount scheme will become a notified State aid and the €200,000 (approximately £170,000) limit will not apply. Find out more on State Aid.

Discount confirmations

(Please complete where you have received a letter from the Council requesting you to make a State Aid declaration, or where your bill shows a retail discount but you do not meet the eligibility criteria).

If you have received a letter from the Council requesting you complete a State Aid declaration or are not eligible for any Retail Discount shown on your bill, please complete the appropriate online form:

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