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Types of Business Rates Relief

Use this Service to apply for Charitable Rates Relief

Retail Leisure and Hospitality Scheme 2024 to 2025

In 2024-2025, the Welsh Government will provide £78m of targeted non-domestic rates support to businesses in the retails leisure and hospitality sectors.

Business will be be eligible for 40% off their liability for the financial year. The amount of relief under the Welsh Government's Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Relief scheme will be capped at £110,00 per business across Wales. 

For further guidance and how to apply go to the following webpage: Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme 2024-2025 | Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council 

Small Business Rates Relief in Wales

The Welsh Government provides non-domestic rates relief to eligible small businesses. 

  • those with a rateable value of up to £6,000 will receive 100% relief; 
  • those with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 will receive relief on a tapered basis from 100% to zero; and
  • subject to a maximum of two properties per business in each local authority.

Tailored support is available for registered childcare providers and post offices. 

Guidance for Small Business Rates Relief 

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property, which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the rate bill, and billing authorities have discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of a charity's bill on such property. 

In addition to this and with effect from 1st April 2004, a mandatory rate relief of 80% will be granted to community amateur sports clubs (CASC), provided that clubs are defined and registered as such with the Inland Revenue. CASC information can be found via the Inland Revenue website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm

Guidance for Charitable Relief   

Rates Relief for Empty Properties

Empty business properties are exempt from paying business rates for three months after the property becomes unoccupied. There are additional exemptions for certain types of property or for properties under a set rateable value. 

After the exemption period ends, you will be liable for the full business rates bill. You should notify your local authority when your property becomes vacant and also when it becomes re-occupied.

Guidance for Empty Property Relief is available here

Rate Relief for Part Occupied Properties (Section 44A)

Where it appears to the authority that part of a property is unoccupied and will remain so for a short period, then the authority can ask the Valuation Office for an apportionment of the rateable value and therefore charge rates on the occupied part. It should be noted that the unoccupied part may still be liable to an empty rate charge. 

Transitional Relief

From 1 April 2023, following the revaluation, the Welsh Government is providing all ratepayers whose liability is increasing by more than £300, as a consequence of revaluation, with transitional relief. Any increase in non-domestic rates liability as a result of revaluation will be phased in over two years.

A ratepayer will pay 33% of their additional liability in the first year (2023-24) and 66% in the second year (2024-25), before reaching their full liability in the third year (2025-26). The Welsh Government is providing £113m over two years to fund this relief, supporting all areas of the tax-base through a consistent and straightforward transitional scheme. 

Guidance for Transitional Relief is available here 

Improvement Relief

From 1 April 2024, the Welsh Government is providing Improvement Relief to ratepayers investing in improvements to their non-domestic properties which will support their business. The relief will delay the effect of a resulting rateable value increase on their non-domestic rates liability for a period of 12 months. This will ensure that businesses and other ratepayers are able to start realising the benefits of improvements they make, before their non-domestic rates bill increases.

Guidance for Improvement Relief is available here

Heat Networks Relief

From 1 April 2024, the Welsh Government is providing Heat Networks Relief. The relief is intended to support the development and growth of this sector that is anticipated over the next decade, by helping to minimise the financial barriers to the establishment of networks. This, in turn, is intended to help support the transition away from the use of fossil fuels and the decarbonisation of heat. Heat networks supply thermal energy from a central source to consumers, through a network of pipes. The Welsh Government is providing full (100%) relief to non-domestic hereditaments used wholly or mainly as a heat network providing thermal energy generated from low-carbon sources. The qualifying conditions are explained in more detail in the guidance. 

Guidance for Heat Networks Relief is available here 

Business Rates Hardship Relief

Section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 gives billing authorities (the Council) the discretion to reduce or remit the payment of rates for any ratepayer. The Council can do so where it is satisfied that the ratepayer would sustain hardship if it did not do so, and it is reasonable to do so, having regard to the interests of its Council Tax payers.

Guidance on this relief can be found here

Self Catering Properties

From 1 April 2023 in Wales, a self- catering property is classified as non-domestic and  liable for business rates, if the Valuation office Agency is satisfied that:

  • it will be available for letting commercially as self-catering accommodation for short periods totalling 252 days or more in the following 12 month period
  • the ratepayer’s interest in the property enables them to let it for such periods
  • in the 12 months prior to assessment it has been available for letting commercially as self-catering accommodation for short periods totalling 252 days or more
  • the short periods it has actually been commercially let for amounted to at least 182 days during that period

Guidance on business rates for self-catering properties in Wales is available here