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COVID-19: Business Rates Relief

COVID-19: Business Rates Relief

April Foster

The Chancellor has announced a raft of measures designed to help businesses during the coronavirus crisis.  One of the headline measures announced in the Spring Budget was the Business Rates Holiday - 100% relief from Business Rates for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England for 2020/21. 

Originally the relief was available for businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, however the Chancellor has since announced that the £51,000 limit is scrapped meaning that there is now no size restriction on businesses able to claim this relief.

Eligible businesses include shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, cinemas and music venues along with gyms, spas, casinos and hotels.   The relief has recently been expanded to also include estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls who have had to close as result of the coronavirus. 

In addition, a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year has been introduced for nurseries on the Ofsted Early Years Register providing the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

However, some occupants of the high street who might be expected to benefit are specifically excluded from the Business Rates Retail Discount. 

These include: 
•    Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers) 
•    Other services (e.g. employment agencies) 
•    Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors) 
•    Post office sorting offices 

There is lobbying in this area to remove the restrictions but no progress to date. 

Business don’t need to take any action to benefit from the rates holiday which will be automatically applied by the local authority. 

For further advice, please contact your local Moore adviser