You may be eligible for business rates relief if :
- You would sustain hardship if the authority did not provide the relief
- Providing the relief is in the interest of local people
There is no definition of hardship so each authority must assess each application, but when deciding to apply the relief the council must consider the following :
- The council can not have a blanket policy to either grant or deny the relief and each case must be considered on its own merits.
- The ‘interests’ of local council tax payers in the area should be taken into consideration e.g would local amenities be reduced, would it create unemployment or worsen employment prospects in the area or is the company the only provider of a service used.
- Is the hardship self-evident e.g loss of trade due to external factors such as natural disasters.
The relief will be granted short term fixed periods and as it is discretionary will be subject to State Aid limits, it is not possible to receive more than €200,000 of De Minimis aid over a three year period. You must therefore check that applying for this relief you are not breaching this limit for the two rating years the relief is applicable for.
The impact of Brexit on this relief :
If the UK leave the EU without an agreement in place, the Government has announced it’s intention to transpose EU State Aid rules into UK domestic legislation so local councils will continue to apply State Aid rules, including De Minimis to the relief for the years it is applicable.