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Reliefs and discounts

Business rates forms

Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief for Business Rates.

This is dependent on the property that is occupied by the charity or club being used wholly and mainly for charitable purposes. In addition to this relief, discretionary relief may also be granted for the remaining part of the bill.

For the relevant applications, please see Business rates forms.

Discretionary Relief

In certain circumstances we may be able to offer discretionary relief from business rates provided the organisation meets with the criteria specified in our Discretionary Relief Policy.

(Please note that our current policy is under review and when finalised will be attached here shortly for assistance)

For the relevant application, please see Business rates forms.

Retail Discount

This scheme was introduced with effect from 1 April 2019 and will continue until 2021 whereupon further advisement will be supplied by the Government.

The Government recognises that changing customer behaviour presents significant challenge for retailers in our town centres and is taking action to help the high street evolve.

Therefore it was announced in the budget on 29 October 2018 that funding will be provided to local authorities to introduce a business Retail Discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. This scheme commenced from 1 April 2019 and the value of the discount was one third of the bill for the year 2019 which was subsequently increase to 50% with effect from 1 April 2020 and applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs/grants have been awarded.

For full details of the scheme view the Spelthorne Borough Local Retail Discount Scheme.

For the relevant application, please see Business rates forms.

Please note that the Budget announced 11 March 2020 has proposed changes to this discount by increasing the percentage value of the discount whilst including various new venues.

However, until official legislation has been received from Central Government, no alterations will be made to existing or new accounts.

Small Business Rates Relief

Details of the scheme are as follows:-


Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier currently set at 49.9 pence for 2020/21, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Eligibility criteria

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either-

(a) one property, or

(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

An application for Small Business Rate Relief is not required. If a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief, please contact us.

Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to us by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are:

(a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and

(b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Interaction with other relief's

  • if a ratepayer is eligible for charity relief or rural rate relief then they receive that relief rather than small business rate relief
  • transitional relief is applied before the small business rate relief is applied

For the relevant application, please see "Business rates Forms".

Relief for Partly Occupied Property

Premises that are partly occupied for a short time only can receive discretionary relief under Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. This is a process where, if the local authority approves an application for relief under s.44A, the Valuation Office will be asked to apportion the rateable value of the property so that the occupier may benefit from any exemption for the unoccupied area and pay the full charge only for the occupied apportionment.

An application will be considered on its own merits and must meet the following criteria:

  • the property must be partly occupied. Detailed plans must be provided to indicate the whole property and which part is occupied
  • the intended part occupation period will be for a "short time only". A "short time only" is not defined in legislation. However, for the purposes of these guidelines, the Council considers this to mean a period of up to 3 to 6 months. Therefore, the nature of the business activity will be taken into account along with the estimated planned period of time and future intentions. In all cases an award will cease at the end of the financial year (although the Council can use its discretion to request a further certificate if the circumstances permit). Details should be provided of timescales
  • the part occupation must not be as a result of maintenance, renewal, reorganisation, repairs or seasonal shutdowns/holidays. In the main, s.44A relief should be for the phased occupation or vacating of premises. Details of the reason for part occupation must be provided

Relief for local newspapers

A reduction of £1,500 for office space occupied by local newspapers. The scheme will run to 31 March 2025. 

Relief for local newspapers

If you think you qualify but the relief is not shown on your bill please contact Customer Services.

Pub Discount Scheme

Eligible ratepayers will receive up to a £1,000 business rate discount for each eligible occupied public house in 2020/21.

The scheme is for 2020/21 only.

To apply for this scheme the property must be an occupied public house and meet the criteria set out in the full scheme.

Pubs Discount Scheme

Please note that the Budget announced 11 March 2020 has proposed changes to this discount by increasing the monetary value of the discount.

However, until official legislation has been received from Central Government, no alterations will be made to existing or new accounts.

State Aid

The award of such discounts is considered likely to amount to state aid. However, it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to 200,000 euros 'de minimis' aid over a rolling three year period.

If you are receiving, or have received, any 'de minimis' aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform the local authority immediately with details of the aid received.   

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