Business rates relief

Discretionary rate relief

The Government have provided local authorities with additional funding to help businesses with their business rate bills. Each Council has designed its own scheme to target this additional funding. Once you've made an application for this relief, we aim to notify you within 14 days whether or not you've been successful.

 Plymouth Discretionary Business Rates Relief Policy [PDF, 308KB]

Apply for discretionary rate relief

Charitable rate relief

Rate relief can be claimed if your organisation or company is registered with the Charity Commission or is a charitable type organisation which is non-profit making. There are two categories, mandatory rate relief and discretionary rate relief.

  • Mandatory rate relief: If your organisation or company is a registered charity or a charity exempted from registration, you may be able to claim mandatory rate relief of 80 per cent. If you're registered as a community amateur sports club (CASC), you can receive 80 per cent rate relief. Find out about registering as a community amateur sports club on the GOV.UK website.
  • Discretionary rate relief: As part of Government changes to Local Authority funding, we are now required to fund a greater proportion of any discretionary rate relief we award to local businesses.

    Discretionary rate relief will not be awarded to registered charities in receipt of mandatory rate relief. This is due to the Localism act where Councils now fund 50 per cent of the 80 per cent relief awarded.

    If you have any queries or would like to discuss applying for Discretionary Rate Relief email revenues@plymouth.gov.uk.

Transitional business rate relief

If the rateable value of your property changes significantly as a result of revaluation, your rates will change gradually. This is called transitional relief. After each revaluation there is a period of transition. No bill is allowed to increase or decrease by more than a set percentage. Any property with a large increase or decrease in its rateable value will come under the transitional relief scheme, which has the effect of phasing the valuation in over a period of time. If transitional relief applies to your rates bill, it will be applied automatically.

Small business rate relief (SBRR)

Small businesses in England are generally entitled to small business rate relief if they occupy only one property and the rateable value of that property is less than £19,999.

We work out your business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the correct 'multiplier' (an amount set by central government). 

If the combined rateable value of your properties is less than £51,000 you're eligible to have your rates calculated using the small business rates multiplier, regardless of the number of properties that you occupy.

Apply for small business rate relief

To be eligible for SBRR at the time of the 2017 revaluation, businesses must meet the following conditions:

  • You must occupy only one commercially rated property in England where the rateable value of that property is less than £19,999 except where:
    • you occupy additional commercially rated properties that each have a rateable value of less than £2,899
    • the combined rateable value of the properties is less than £19,999
  • Relief will be based on the rateable value of the qualifying property and second properties will not get any relief
  • Transitional relief will be calculated first and SBRR will be applied afterwards
  • If a rate payer is in receipt of charity relief then they will receive that relief and not SBRR

If the rateable value increases above the maximum rateable value, the property won't be entitled to relief for the rest of the year.

The rate of relief goes down gradually from 100 per cent depending on the rateable value of a property.

  • If it's under £12,000 you get 100 per cent relief and a lower non-domestic multiplier.
  • If it's between £12,001 and £15,000 the relief reduces on a sliding scale and you get a lower non-domestic multiplier
  • If it's between £15,001 and £50,999 you get a lower non-domestic multiplier

Changes in circumstances

You must notify us of any increase in the rateable value of a property you occupy which is not in the Plymouth City Council area. This must be received in writing within four weeks following the change, as this may affect the relief awarded.

If you start using an additional property, which is not included in the original application, you need to apply again.