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Business rate relief

There are several rate reliefs you can apply for to reduce your business rates:

Small business rate relief

Your business may be eligible for a reduction in its business rates if:

  • your business has a rateable value (RV) of less than £12,000, you won’t have to pay business rates
  • it has an RV of between £12,000 and £14,999, we can reduce your bill by 1% for each £30 below £15,000
  • you use more than one property, you can get small business rate relief if the RV of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the total RV of all of them is less than £20,000. We will award the relief on the property with the highest RV
  • your property has an RV below £51,000, we will work out your business rates bill using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. We do this even if your business uses more than one property

Rural rate relief

You could get mandatory rural rate relief if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000. You can get 100% off your business rates if your business is the only:

  • village shop or post office, with an RV of up to £8,500
  • public house or petrol station, with an RV of up to £12,500

If your business can’t get mandatory rate relief, we can still consider discretionary rural rate relief if the premises have a rateable value of less than £16,500. We will treat each business on its merits looking at the contribution and its importance to the local community.

Charity and community amateur sports clubs rate relief

Charities and community amateur sport clubs (CACSs) can get their bills reduced by 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes. We can top up the mandatory 80% with up to 20% discretionary rate relief.

Discretionary rate relief from 1 April 2023

During December 2022, the Council is writing to existing recipients of discretionary rate relief to invite them to claim under the new scheme that will take effect on 1 April 2023, if the organisations concerned believe they met the qualifying criteria that will apply from 1 April 2023.

Since the new approach will not exactly mirror the current scheme, there will inevitably be changes to the amount of relief that some organisations may receive from 1 April 2023. Some will cease to qualify altogether.

Please visit the Discretionary Rate Relief page on the Somerset County Council website for details of the new scheme and why it is being introduced.

Discretionary rate relief until 31 March 2023

We can award up to 100% discretionary rate relief to not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and Community Interest Companies.

  • help for small businesses: If due to revaluation you’ve lost all or part of, small business rates relief or rural rate relief you may be able to claim some relief of the next 5 years
  • hardship relief: In exceptional circumstances we can give relief to businesses vitally important to the local community that are suffering real hardship. This is sometimes called 'Section 49 relief'
  • local business rate discount: We can grant a local business rate discount for a fixed period to any ratepayer who does not meet the criteria for any other form of rate relief. We consider applications case by case
  • local newspapers: We can reduce business rates for office space used by local newspapers by up to £1,500 from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2025
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief: A 50% discount is available for 2022/23 where you occupy a retail, hospitality or leisure premise, to apply please use the form below

Somerset West and Taunton Discretionary Rate Relief Policy valid until 31 March 2023

If you would like to apply for a business rate relief other than small business, rural or retail please complete the PDF Business rate relief claim form and submit it as an attachment using the general enquiries online form.

Covid Additional Relief Fund

Somerset West and Taunton Council have been allocated government funding to provide Business Rates Relief for 2021/22 to businesses which did not benefit from any form of Covid relief against the charge for last financial year.

We are directing the majority of the funding to properties listed as offices, warehouses and factories.

To be eligible to receive this relief you must meet the following criteria;

  • You were not eligible for Expanded Retail Discount or Nursey Discount
  • You were not eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief at 100%
  • You were not eligible for Mandatory Relief at 80% and Discretionary top up at 20%
  • The property was occupied in 2021/22, any temporary closures due to covid will be ignored for these purposes
  • You were adversely affected by the pandemic and were unable to adequately adapt to that impact
  • You are not subject to Subsidy Control

If you do not meet all of the above criteria and you have had the relief applied to your account, please contact us using our general enquiries online form.

If we do not hear from you the relief will be applied to your account and a new bill issued. If applying the relief puts you into credit, please contact us to provide your bank details so that we can issue a refund.

Further information on Subsidy Control

The Council’s COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). However, for CARF there is an exemption for subsidies under the value of approximately £2,243,000 per economic actor (broadly speaking, a holding company and its subsidiaries).

This allowance comprises 325,000 Special Drawing Rights (at current exchange rated about £343,000) for Small Amounts of Financial Assistance and a further £1,900,000 for COVID-19 related subsidy.

Therefore, to be awarded CARF you must not have claimed over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 more than £2,243,000 from schemes which fall within the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance or COVID-19 related allowances.

Any COVID-19 business grants you have received from local government and the 2019/20 Retail Relief count toward this limit, but you should not count any Extended Retail Discount you received since 1 April 2020.

If you have received any subsidies you will need to provide the name and total value of these.

We will consider applications for support under the CARF scheme if you have received the limit provided you can evidence;

  1. You intend to use the support to fund uncovered fixed costs (costs not covered by profits for insurance) during the period of COVID-19. Economic actors may claim up to 70% of their uncovered costs (although this 70% limit does not apply to small businesses with less than 50 employees and less than £9million turnover where the limit is then 90%; and
  2. You can show a decline in turnover of at least 30% within the April 2020 to March 2021 period, compared to the same 2019 to 2020 period.

You can claim up to a further £10 million of additional allowance (on top of the £2,243,000) if you meet the above tests and have not claimed any other support from the additional allowance up to an aggregate of £10million limit.