Business rates reductions 

For further information on how to reduce your business rates, click on the types of reduction below.

  • View your account online

    • You can see how your business rates bill has been calculated and your outstanding balance. You can also:

      » check the payments you have made and when any future payments are due
      » set up or amend a direct debit
      » view or print your current and previous bills

      View your account online

      The website is available 24 hours a day and it is updated regularly, so you can see up to date information and check the progress of changes you have told us about. You will need to register but you will only need to do this once.

      If you require any further information about your business rates such as a statement of your account or details of your property valuation, please contact us.

  • Small business rate relief

    • Rate relief is available to reduce business rates bills for some small businesses.

      Apply for small business rate relief online

      From 1 April 2017 ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value less than £51,000, and are not entitled to another mandatory relief, will have their bill calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier (46.6p in 2017/18), rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier (47.9p in 2017/18).

      Also, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value up to £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction (relief).

      This relief is available to ratepayers who occupy either:
      » one business property in England and that property has a rateable value less than £15,000 on every day for which relief is being sought, or;
      » one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value of less than £2,900 and the total value of all properties is less than £20,000 on every day for which relief is being sought. In such cases only the 'main' property is entitled to relief.

      Where there is an entitlement to relief the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill on a property with a rateable value up to and including £12,000. Where the rateable value is between £12,001 and £14,999 the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction based on a reducing sliding scale. The table below is a guide to these reductions:

      Rateable value approximate percentage reduction 

      Rateable Value  Percentage Reduction 
      £12,000 and under     100%
      £12,500     83%
      £13,000 67% 
      £13,500 50%
      £14,000     33% 
      £14,500 17%
      £15,000 and above     0%
       
      If an application for relief is granted, provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will not need to re-apply for relief in each new valuation period.

      If an application for relief is granted, provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will not need to re-apply for relief in each new valuation period.

      Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to Bolton Council by the ratepayer.
      The changes which must be notified are:

      » the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
      » an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than Bolton.

      Notification of these changes must be given to us within 4 weeks of the day after the day the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer’s entitlement to the relief. A notification that the ratepayer has taken up occupation of an additional property must be by way of a fresh application for relief; notice of an increase in rateable value must be given in writing.

      For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, they will now be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months from the date they began to occupy the additional property. 

  • 2017 Budget Relief

    • In the 2017 Spring Budget the Government announced three new temporary business rates relief schemes.

      Pub Relief
      Under this scheme, eligible pubs will receive a £1,000 discount on their bill for 2017/18.

      A pub can only be considered to be an eligible pub and entitled to relief where it:
      » is open to the general public
      » allows free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
      » allows drinking without requiring food to be consumed
      » permits drinks to be purchased at a bar
      » has a rateable value below £100,000

      Restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, sporting venues, music venues, cinemas and casinos are excluded from the scheme.

      The relief will end on 31 March 2018, or earlier if the pub ceases to be eligible. For example, if the rateable value increases to £100,000 or above or the pub closes.

      Pub Relief is subject to EU law on State Aid and so the application form also asks you to confirm that receiving Pub Relief would not exceed the maximum €200,000 limit for the current financial year and the two previous financial years that a business can receive under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

       Apply for Pub Relief online

      Supporting Small Business Relief
      This relief is being made available to those ratepayers facing large increases following the 2017 revaluation as a result of the loss of small business relief.

      The transitional relief scheme does not provide support in respect of changes in reliefs. Therefore, those ratepayers who are losing some or all of their small business rate relief may be facing very large percentage increases in bills from 1 April 2017.

      Supporting Small Businesses Relief will help support these ratepayers by ensuring that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

      » a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers currently paying nothing or very small amounts are brought into paying something, or

      » the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme

      Bolton Council has already identified the ratepayers that are entitled to this relief and will grant awards automatically. However, if you think you are entitled to the relief but haven’t received it please contact the business rates section.

      Discretionary Relief
      At the Spring Budget, the Government announced the establishment of a £300m discretionary fund over four years from 2017/18 to support businesses in their area. The £300m will cover the four years from 2017/18 as follows:
      - £175m in 2017/18
      - £85m in 2018/19
      - £35m in 2019/20
      - £5m in 2020/21.

      Bolton will receive funding to allow awards totalling:
      - £419k in 17/18
      - £204k in 18/19
      - £84k in 19/20
      - £12k in 20/21

      It is a condition of the funding provision that the grant is to be used to support only ratepayers facing an increase in their bills following revaluation. Other than this stipulation billing authorities are expected to develop their own scheme to support those businesses and locations within their area that are in the greatest need.

      The 2017/18 framework for Bolton Council is set out below:

      No.       Statement  Result  Reasoning
       1  Has the daily gross rates charge for the property increased on 1 April 2017 compared to 31 March 2017  If NO - no relief  Government funding specifies relief only applies where rates have increased following the revaluation
       2  Is the property occupied?  If NO - no relief  To prioritise relief on premises where businesses are actually operating.
       3  Has the ratepayer been in continuous occupation of the property since at least 31 March 2017?  If NO - no relief  If ratepayer has only moved into the premises in 2017/18 they have not been subjected to a rise in their bill.
       4  Are people employed at the premises?  If NO - no relief  To prioritise relief to help maintain jobs (rather than premises just used for storage for example)
       5  Is the ratepayer a public body i.e. Bolton Council, NHS, etc  If YES - no relief  Council wants funding to be used to support private businesses
       6  Is the ratepayer in receipt of any mandatory relief (charity, small business relief)  If YES - no relief  Relief fund to be prioritised to those ratepayers not in receipt of any other relief (excluding transitional relief)
       7  Will the ratepayer qualify for supporting small business relief  If YES - no relief  Supporting small business relief already limits 17/18 increase to £600
       8  Is the annual rates increase in 17/18 less than £1,000 compared to 16/17*  If YES - no relief  Award of relief should not result in an overall reduction in rates.
       9  Is the annual rates increase in 2017/18 £1,000 - £3,499 compared to 2016/17*  If YES an award of £1,000 in 17/18 is available  Ratepayer considered to be one of hardest hit by revaluation
       10  Is the annual rates increase in 2017/18 equal to or over £3,500 compared to 2016/17*  If YES an  award equal to the higher of £1,000 or 8% of gross rates** in 17/18 is available  Ratepayer considered to be one of hardest hit by revaluation

       *Where a full year's charge was not made in 16/17 e.g. new property built after 1 April 2016, the 16/17 charge calculation will be adjusted pro-rata so it does reflect a full year charge for comparison purposes.
      **Where 8% award exceeds 17/18 increase the award will be capped at an amount equal to the actual annual increase from 16/17 to 17/18.

      Supplementary
      Where the ratepayer demonstrates in writing that exceptional circumstances exist, an award above the amounts set out above may be given.

      Where the ratepayer has seen an increase in rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation, but otherwise does not meet the framework, relief will still be considered if the ratepayer demonstrates in writing that exceptional circumstances exist.

      Recalculations of Relief
      Any Discretionary Relief awarded under this framework will be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances. This could include, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value of the property or the ratepayer leaving the property. This change of circumstances could arise during 2017/18 or during a later year.

      State Aid
      The relief available is up to state aid de-minimis levels for each business entity.

      Awarding Relief
      Where Bolton Council has identified that a business will qualify for a lower award (£1,000) the relief has been granted automatically and the business notified.

      Where Bolton Council has identified that a business could qualify for a higher award (8% of 17/18 rates) it has written to the business asking it to confirm the assumptions made and that it wishes to claim the relief.

      If you think you are entitled to relief under this scheme but have not been contacted about it please let the business rates section know. 

       

  • Unoccupied property rating

    • Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties.

      After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases, the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs.

      There are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate. These are properties:

      » which are unoccupied for a continuous period not exceeding three months

      » that are a qualifying industrial property that has been unoccupied for a continuous period not exceeding six months

      » whose owner is prohibited by law from occupying it or allowing it to be occupied

      » kept vacant by reason of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting the occupation or to acquisition of it

      » that are the subject of a building preservation notice within the meaning of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 or is included in a list compiled under section 1 of that Act

      » that are included in the Schedule of monuments compiled under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

      » whose rateable value is less than £2,600 (2,900 from 1st April 2017) 

      » whose owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person

      » where, in respect of the owner’s estate, there subsists a bankruptcy order within the meaning of section 381(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986

      » whose owner is entitled to possession of the hereditament in his capacity as trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies

      » whose owner is a company which is subject to a winding-up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986 or which is being wound up voluntarily under that Act

      » whose owner is a company in administration within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 or is subject to an administration order made under the former administration provisions within the meaning of article 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2003

      » whose owner is entitled to possession of the hereditament in his capacity as liquidator by virtue of an order made under section 112 or section 145 of the Insolvency Act 1986

      To claim unoccupied property relief, you must inform the business rates office as soon as the property becomes vacant.

  • Partly occupied property relief

    • A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, Bolton Council has the discretion to award relief in respect of any unoccupied part.

      To apply for this relief you must contact the business rates office as soon as the partial occupancy begins.

      An inspection of the premises is usually made by the council to confirm the partial occupancy.

      You may also be required to provide a plan of the premises so that the Valuation Office Agency can accurately apportion the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied areas. 

  • Charity and registered community amateur sports club relief

    • Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club.

      Bolton Council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining 20%. 

      Apply for charitable and discretionary relief online

  • Non-profit making organisation relief

  • Hardship relief

    • Bolton Council has discretion to give relief in exceptional circumstances. Any award has also to be shown to be in the interest of council taxpayers, as 50% of the the full cost must be borne by the Council and therefore be funded from council tax.

  • Appeals against a rateable value

    • If  you have reason to believe that your rateable value for 2017 is not correct, you can find and review your rateable value on the Valuation Office Agency website from the 1st April 2017. 

      You will need to do the following:

      » Check - review and confirm the facts about your property held by the Valuation Office Agency
      » Challenge - once the facts are established, explain why you believe your valuation is wrong

      An appeal on your 2017 rateable value is not possible, and may not be necessary, until you have completed check and challenge.

      Until an appeal is settled with the Valuation Office Agency, business rates must be paid on the existing rateable value assessment.

      Further information on appeals can be obtained from:

      The Valuation Office Agency
      Portland Tower
      Portland Street
      Manchester
      M1 3LD
      Telephone 03000 501501
      www.gov.uk 

Business Rates Section

Bolton Council

P.O. Box 32

Bolton

BL1 1RX

Telephone 01204 331730
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