In exceptional circumstances the Local Authority can ‘write off’ all or part of your business rates arrears.

If a company is in liquidation or administration and the amount has become a ‘bad debt’ then the amount will likely be written off. If this is not the case it may still be worthwhile getting in touch with the local authority if:

  • you would suffer hardship if they did not remit the business rates: and
  • it is reasonable for them to remit your business rates, taking into account the interests of local people.

This is usually only granted in exceptional circumstances which are usually classed as :

  • your business is essential to the local community. For example, the property may employee a large amount of the local population or it may provide the only service in the area
  • your business has failed and your personal circumstances mean you are unable to make an offer of payment. This may be seen as exceptional circumstances if you are now only receiving benefit income and will do for the foreseeable future. For example, if you are suffering from long-term ill health.

In order to apply you will need to write to the Local Authority asking for your business rates to be remitted under section 49 Local Government Finance Act 1988 and provide evidence that:

  • shows how you would suffer hardship;
  • shows what steps have been taken to make the business work; and
  • provide details of your budget and any assets you have.