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On 22 November 2023, the Government announced several steps to help ratepayers.

All of the below are effective from 1 April 2024:

  1. The Small Business Rate Multiplier will be frozen for another year to protect businesses from inflation. This means the multiplier will remain at £0.499p for Small Businesses who qualify with a rateable value below £51,000.
  2. The Standard Multiplier will be uprated using the September Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 6.7% rather than the September Retail Price Index (RPI) (8.9%) increasing the multiplier from £0.512p to £0.546p
  3. The Retail Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Scheme will be extended for a further year and will remain at 75% relief. This will be the same as the 2023/24 scheme and is subject to a cap of £110,000 per business.

Other continuing measures to support ratepayers include the following:

  1. Transitional Relief for ratepayers that experienced an increase in their rates bill due to the 1st of April 2023 revaluation. Details can be accessed via the website.
  2. The Supporting Small Business Relief Scheme for ratepayers that experienced a reduced entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief due to the revaluation, will continue where eligible, for year 2, capping the bill increase to £50.00 a month (600 per year)

It is currently anticipated that all of the above will be automatically calculated and shown in the initial annual bill that you will receive in March 2024. There will be no need to make an application if you are already in receipt of any reliefs listed under 3 to 5 above.

The Improvement Relief will support businesses wishing to invest in their property. It will ensure that no ratepayer will face higher Business Rates bills for 12 months, as a result of qualifying improvements to a property they occupy.

Improvement Relief

This scheme will run from 1 April 2024 to 1 April 2029.

The conditions for the relief to apply are that:

  • A certificate has been issued by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and it has not been withdrawn or ceased to have effect, and
  • The same ratepayer has been in occupation since the work started.

The qualifying work's condition

The works should increase the area of any building or otherwise improve the physical state of the building. Therefore, neither a newly constructed nor refurbished building (which had left the rating list during the works) will qualify. A change of use alone or the addition of land will not qualify.

The VOA is currently working with Local Authorities in England and Wales, ratepayers, and agents to ensure that they are designing a service that best meets the needs of their customers.

We will provide further information about the Improvement Relief and how to apply when the information is available.