2019 Transitional Relief Scheme
Following the national revaluation on 1 April 2017 of all non-domestic properties in Scotland, the Scottish Government has introduced a transitional relief scheme to lessen, for businesses operating in some sectors, the increase in 2019-20 bills to a 12.50% real term increase for each year in comparison with 2016 bills (equivalent to a 52.70% increase). The operation of this scheme is defined by legislation and the council has no discretion to vary its content. The scheme will operate for a period of one year, 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
This scheme limits relief to properties which fall into one of the following classes of use:
i. bed and breakfast accommodation;
ii. camping site;
iv. caravan site;
v. chalet or holiday hut;
vi. guest house, hotel or hostel (excluding establishments where a significant amount of care is provided);
vii. public house or night club, with certain limitations;
viii. restaurant, café, coffee shop, bistro, fast food restaurant or snack bar;
ix. self-catering holiday accommodation; and
x. timeshare accommodation.
Note: The legislation also permits an award of relief to offices, but that is limited to properties situated in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire so is not applicable in Moray.
Relief is limited to properties which were
i. in one of the classes of use stated above, at 31 March 2017; and
ii. in one of the classes of use stated above at 31 March 2017 or, if vacant at that date, were last so used and
iii. have a Rateable Value no greater than £1,500,000.
There is no entitlement to relief for properties which were vacant at 1 April 2017.
The 2019 Transitional Relief scheme must be compatible with existing EU State Aid law. In practice this means the ratepayer who has received a State Aid award, in a rolling three year period, in excess of €200,000 (or sterling equivalent) must declare it.
The scheme is application based and an application form must be completed for each property for which an award of transitional relief is sought.
A ratepayer seeking an award of relief will have to:
i. confirm in which class the property falls; and
ii. summarize the activities undertaken at the property to confirm its use.
To download an application form click here
Any award of relief is calculated on the basis of the gross Non-Domestic Rates which were payable at 31 March 2017 multiplied by a ‘real-terms’ factor equivalent of 12.50% (equivalent to a 52.70% increase in comparison with 2016 bills). This will produce a ‘capped’ amount which the ratepayer’s 2019-20 cannot exceed. An award of relief will be made if the amount of the 2019 rates bill exceeds the ‘capped’ amount.
If you receive an award or relief, it can only be made to your 2019-20 account.
If there is any change to a property’s circumstances, it is likely that this will affect any entitlement to a Transitional Relief award.
If you have any questions on this Transitional Relief Scheme, or want to know if you qualify, please contact us.