Business Rates reductions and reliefs

Business owners may be eligible for reductions in their business rates. The council provides advice on eligibility for rate reductions and will provide application forms and process applications for reductions.

Types of reductions

Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)

Small business rates relief is awarded based on the rateable value of the property and the number of properties a business occupies.

You can apply for small business rates relief if you occupy one property in England and the rateable value of that property is below £15,000.

If you have more than one business property in England you can also apply providing each additional properties rateable value is below £2,600.

 To apply please complete an online application for Small Business Rates Relief

100% discount can be awarded for properties with a rateable value of not more than £12,000. For properties with a rateable value from £12,001 - £14,999 a phased percentage discount is applied.

Charity relief

Charity organisations and registered community amateur sports clubs can apply for mandatory relief which may result in an 80% reduction in the charge. Additional relief on the remaining bill can be awarded at the council's discretion.

Non-profit making organisations may be entitled to relief which is also at the discretion of the council. This discretionary power allows the council to grant relief for all or part of any non-domestic rate liability for property occupied by certain bodies not established or conducted for profit.

Awards will be made for a fixed period of 12 months or until the end of the current financial year (March 31) and may be extended for a further 12 month period (or the end of the current financial year) without the need for a review to take place. Applications for charity relief can only be made by completing the online form and providing all requested information and documentation.  You will be notified whether or not your application was successful when a Non-Domestic Rate Demand is issued to you.

Apply for charity relief online

For further information please read the criteria and guidance that has been agreed by elected members and used by officers of the council to assist in the decision making process.

Transitional relief

The transitional relief scheme limits the amount that a bill can be increased or decreased following a revaluation (change to rateable value) which takes place every five years (seven years for the current 2010 rating list). These adjustments will be shown in detail on the front of your bill if your property is eligible for transitional relief.

Unoccupied property relief

If a property is empty and unfurnished business rates will not be payable for the first 3 months. In the case of industrial properties this is extended to 6 months. After this the full rate becomes due and payable.

Empty properties with a rateable value less than £2,600 are exempt from empty property rate.

There are other empty property rate exemptions. Details are available from the Business Rates team

Partly occupied relief

Where a property is partly occupied the full rate remains payable in most cases. However where it is partly occupied for a short time the council has discretion in certain cases to award relief for the unoccupied part for up to 3 months (6 months for industrial properties).

Our Revenues Inspector will need to view the premises at the time of the application to establish eligibility. We do not consider retrospective claims.

Hardship relief

A hardship claim can be submitted to the local authority who will consider each case on its individual circumstances and with regard to the interests of the council tax payers.

Local Newspapers

A discount of £1,500 for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, is available for 2 years from 1 April 2017. The relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act.

Further information

To find out if your property is eligible for any of the above contact the Business Rates team:

London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Revenue Services
Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London
E14 2BG

Tel:  020 7364 5010
Fax: 020 7364 4456
Email businessrates@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Please quote your rate account number in your email

Businesslink provides information on business rates and links to the VOA and ODPM web sites where you can get more detailed information.