The information given below explains some of the terms which may be used on a non-domestic rate demand and in the supporting information. Further information about liability to non-domestic rates may be obtained from billing authorities.
The non-domestic rates collected by billing authorities are paid into a central pool and redistributed to county and county borough councils and police and crime commissioners. Your council and police and crime commissioner use their shares of redistributed rate income, together with income from their council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Welsh Ministers and certain other sums, to pay for the services they provide. Further information about the non-domestic rates system, including what reliefs are available may be obtained via businesswales.gov.wales.
The rateable value of non-domestic property is fixed in most cases by an independent valuation officer of the Valuation Office Agency which is an Executive Agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They compile and maintain a full list of the rateable values of all non-domestic properties in Wales, available on their website at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency. All non-domestic property is normally revalued every 5 years. From 1 April 2017 the rateable value of a property represents its annual open market rental value as at 1 April 2015.
For composite properties which are partly domestic and partly non-domestic the rateable value relates to the non-domestic part only. The values of all property in respect of which rates are payable to your authority are shown in the local rating list, a copy of which may be inspected at, The Valuation Officer & Chief Valuer Wales, Non Domestic Rates Wales, Valuation Office Agency, Ty Rhodfa, Ty Glas Road, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GR or Ceredigion County Council, Canolfan Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UE.
All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation to ensure rates paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. This helps maintain fairness in the rating system by updating valuations in line with changes in the market. The current rating list came into effect on 1 April 2017 and is based on values as at 1 April 2015.
In the year a revaluation takes effect, the multiplier is rebased to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money.
Alteration of rateable value
The rateable value may alter if the valuation officer believes that the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) may also in certain circumstances propose a change in value. If the ratepayer and the valuation officer do not agree the valuation within 3 months of the proposal being made, the matter is referred by the valuation officer as an appeal by the proposer to the Valuation Tribunal for Wales. Further information about how to propose a change in a rateable value is available from valuation offices.
Non-domestic rating multiplier
This is the rate in the pound by which the rateable value is multiplied to give the annual rate bill for a property. The multiplier set annually by the Welsh Ministers is the same for the whole of Wales and except in a revaluation year cannot rise by more than the rate of the increase in the retail prices index.
Proposals and appeals
Information about the circumstances in which a change in rateable value may be proposed and how such a proposal may be made is available from the local valuation office shown above. Further information about the appeal arrangements may be obtained from, Ceredigion County Council, Canolfan Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UE or from the Valuation Office Agency.
The Valuation Tribunal for Wales provides a free independent appeals service dealing with appeals about Non-Domestic Rates and Council Tax. Their contact details can be found here www.valuationtribunal.wales/home.html.
Unoccupied property rating
Owners of unoccupied non-domestic properties may be liable to empty property rates which are charged at 100 per cent of the normal liability. Liability begins after the property has been empty for 3 months or, in the case of certain industrial properties, after the property has been empty for 6 months. Certain types of property are exempt from empty property rates.
Mandatory Rate Relief
To qualify for Mandatory Rate Relief an organisation must not be conducted for profit and the property they occupy must be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or those of a Community Amateur Sports Club.
An annual check to confirm entitlement and on a set three yearly cycle a full review will be undertaken.
Discretionary Rate Relief
Organisations that have been awarded 80% Mandatory Rate Relief, may apply for an additional 20% Discretionary Rate Relief ‘top-up’. The additional Discretionary Rate Relief ‘top-up’ will not be granted to the following organisations:
- Universities or other Educational establishments;
- Charity shops
Not-for-profit sporting organisations that apply for Discretionary Rate Relief will be granted 100% relief.
Please note that organisations that are applying for both 80% Mandatory Rate Relief and 20% Discretionary Rate Relief will only need to complete one application form but will need to indicate that they are applying for both reliefs.
Hardship Rate Relief
The Council has discretion under Section 49 if the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to grant relief of up to 100% where hardship is experienced.
Hardship Rate Relief will be considered where the business is suffering from unexpected hardship which is outside of normal risks associated with the business. Any relief on the grounds of hardship will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances.
Small business rate relief
The Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Relief) (Wales) Order 2015 makes provision for rates relief for small businesses. Full details including the eligibility criteria, the exceptions, the procedural requirements and the relevant rates reliefs are available from the billing authority.
Transitional rate relief
The Non-Domestic Rating (Chargeable Amounts) (Wales) Regulations 2016 make provision for transitional relief for small businesses adversely impacted by the revaluation of non-domestic hereditaments taking effect from 1 April 2017. Full details including the eligibility criteria, the exceptions, the procedural requirements and the relevant rates reliefs are available from the billing authority.
High Street and Retail Rates Relief in Wales - 2019-20
Properties that will benefit from this relief will be occupied high street business and retail properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments, with a rateable value of £50,000 or less. The enhanced scheme aims to provide support for eligible retail businesses by offering up to £2,500 discount on the non-domestic rates bill per property.
It is intended that, for the purposes of this scheme, retail properties such as, “shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments” will mean the following :-
- Shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off-licences, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
- Post offices
- Furnishing shops or display rooms (such as carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
- Car or caravan showrooms
- Second hard car lots
- Petrol stations
- Garden centres
- Art galleries (where art is for sale or hire)
Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public
- Hair and beauty services
- Shoe repairs or key cutting
- Travel agents
- Ticket offices, eg. for theatre
- Dry cleaners
- PC, TV or domestic appliance repair
- Funeral directors
- Photo processing
- DVD or video rentals
- Tool hire
- Car hire
- Estate and letting agents
Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and / or drink to visiting members of the public
- Drive-through or drive-in restaurants
- Sandwich shops
- Coffee shops
- Wine Bars
Types of hereditaments that are NOT considered to be eligible for High Street and Retail Rates Relief:-
- Financial services (eg. banks, building societies, cash points, ATMs, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
- Medical services (eg. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
- Professional services (eg. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers, tutors)
- Post office sorting office
- Tourism accommodation, eg. B&Bs, hotel accommodation and caravan parks
- Sports clubs
- Children’s play centres
- Day nurseries
- Outdoor activity centres
- Kennels and catteries
- Show homes and marketing suites
- Employment agencies
The Council will be issuing application forms for the relief in March and April 2019.
Relief from paying non-domestic rates could amount to state aid. It is lawful where it is provided in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EU) 1407/2013 on de minimis aid. The de minimis regulation allows an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling three year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform the billing authority immediately with details of the aid received.