The scheme allows ratepayers with properties in Scotland with a combined rateable value of £18,000 or less to claim Rates relief. Where the cumulative rateable value of a ratepayer's properties falls between £18,000 and £35,000, the scheme offers 25 per cent relief to individual properties with a rateable value of up to £18,000. The rateable value ranges for Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) are:
Please note that from 1st April 2020, Small Business Bonus Scheme relief is only available to properties that are in active use.
If Non-Domestic properties are unoccupied, a reduction in the amount of Rates due may be given. The level of relief given will vary depending on the circumstances of the property and the length of time it has been unoccupied. The levels of relief available from 1st April 2016 are:
Under Fresh Start, businesses occupying certain long-term empty properties may be entitled up to 100% business rates relief for upto twelve months from date of occupancy in those premises.
You may be eligible if:
Certain non-domestic property used wholly or mainly for one or more specified purposes (listed here ) may be entitled to a rates reduction for 2019-20, referred to as "transitional relief".
Awards of Transtional Relief cannot be backdated and no appplication for Relief for Financial Years 2017-18 and 2018-19 can now be made.
In such cases, the TR scheme will limit the increase in Rates charges due to the 2017 Revaluation. An application to the council from, or on behalf of, the ratepayer is required. Further information on transitional relief is available here.
Transitional relief could be considered as "State aid" under European Commission rules, which can limit the amount of such aid per recipient. Further information on State aid is available here
An application form for this relief is available below:
The Non Domestic Rates (Day Nursery Relief) (Scotland) Regulations 2018 provides relief of rates to ratepayers, who occupy a day nursery. Day nursery relief is for properties used wholly or mainly as a nursery school within the meaning of section 135 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (b) which also provides day care of children (as defined in paragraph 13 or schedule 12 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010(c)).
No Rates are payable for any properties meeting the criteria above for the relevant period from 01/04/2018 - 31/03/2021
You might be able to get business growth accelerator relief if:
Your premises is a new build property
You have to expand or make improvements to your property
Valid for new builds entered onto valuation roll from 1/4/18 onwards or expansion/improvements resulted in a Rateable Value increase from 1/4/18 onwards
New build premises
If your premises are new builds you won't have to pay business rates until 12 months after the building was completed.
Business rates also don't have to be paid on new builds until they're occupied. New tenants will then qualify for business growth accelerator relief for 12 months.
Expanding or making improvements to your premises
If you have expanded or made improvements to your property the business rates you're charged won't change for 12 months. They will continue to be based on your old rateable value for this period of time.
You can apply for Relief using our Application Form. Please also see our Privacy statement
Mandatory Relief - Relief is available to charities registered with OSCR that use premises wholly or mainly for their charitable purposes. An element of discretionary relief may also be available. Copies of the organisation's constitution and latest audited accounts must be submitted with any application.
Discretionary Relief - Relief is available to properly constituted not for profit organisations whose activities are concerned with one or more of the following - Education, Fine Arts, Science, Social Welfare, Literature, Philanthropy. Copies of the organisation's constitution and latest audited accounts must be submitted with any application
100% discretionary relief is available to properly constituted private members sports/recreational clubs not licensed to sell alcohol.
Applicants should submit a completed application form along with copies of their constitution and latest audited accounts. These are examined to establish that the applicant is a bona fide sports or recreational club, and that no income from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, etc, appears in the accounts.
Available only to organisations constituted as private members clubs and licensed to sell alcohol.
Copies of accounts and constitution are required. Accounts should relate to the base year for re-valuation, currently 2014/2015. If these are not available, accounts for subsequent years can be index-linked to 2014/2015. The gross turnover figures for bar, food, gaming and tobacco should be entered. We will then calculate the non-licensed element of rateable value. This is the figure on which relief may be awarded.
Relief of 80% is available for community amateur sports clubs (licensed and unlicensed). Additional relief of up to 20% will also be considered. If the organisation is licensed, the calculation of this relief will also take into account the turnover generated from trading activities relating to bar, food, tobacco and gaming machines. Copies of accounts along with a copy of the organisation's constitution and rules are required.
Relief of up to 100% is available where the premises are used for any of the following:
(Note: "care" in the above does not include the provision of medical, surgical or dental treatment.)
Applicants must provide a plan or diagram of the premises (hand drawn plans are acceptable) and, if used as a nursing home or hostel, details of residents and staff.
Renewable energy relief is available to ratepayers who use a property solely for the generation of renewable heat or power (or both) from the sources indicated on the application form.
The renewable energy relief will be applied before any other calculation of relief and the amount of relief awarded must not breach State Aid de minimis limits i.e. 200,000 euros, approximately £170,000, over a rolling 3 year period.
Differing levels of Relief are available depending on the specific circumstances of the scheme:
Where the Ratepayer can demonstrate their involvement in community organisation(s) and provide proof of their investment into such organisations which is equivalent to either:
Then a reduction of the rates payable will be applied as specified in the table below:
Combined Rateable Value of all business properties in Scotland
% of Rates Relief
£145,000 or less
More than £145,000 but not exceeding £430,000
More than £430,000 but not exceeding £860,000
More than £860,000 but not exceeding £4,000,000
More than £4,000,000
|Note: Where there are multiple entries on the valuation roll for the same ratepayer it is the combined rateable value for of properties used for renewable energy production which will be considered for the award.|
Where the Ratepayer has no involvement in community organisations per above and the property has been newly entered onto the valuation roll on or after 1st April 2017, the relief available is either:
Combined Rateable Value of all business properties in Scotland
% of Rates Relief
£500,000 or less
More than £500,000
Note: Where there are multiple entries on the valuation roll for the same ratepayer it is the combined rateable value for of properties used for renewable energy production which will be considered for the award.
With effect from 01/04/12, enterprise area relief is available for properties in the Glasgow enterprise area and which are occupied for the purpose of carrying out certain activities. The properties must be new entries in the valuation roll after 01/04/12 or existing properties that have been unoccupied for a continuous period of 3 months before the person seeking relief took occupation. The property must be in receipt of empty property relief for a prior 3 month period to qualify.
An illustration of the Glasgow Enterprise Area and a list of the permitted activities are shown here: Glasgow Enterprise Area.
The enterprise area relief will be applied before any other calculation of relief.
The amount of relief awarded must not breach State Aid de minimis limits i.e. 200,000 euros, approximately £170,000, over a rolling 3 year period.
The table below shows the percentages of relief available:
% of Relief
£120,000 or less
More than 120,000 but not exceeding £240,000
More than £240,000 but not exceeding £480,000
More than £480,000 but not exceeding £1,200,000
More than £1,200,000 but not exceeding £2,400,000
More than £2,400,000
With effect from 01/04/13, new start relief is available for new properties entered onto the valuation roll between the periods 01/04/13 and 31/03/18 and which are unoccupied.
In order to qualify, the property must be unoccupied at the time of being entered onto the valuation roll and the entry on the valuation roll should not be as a result of a division of an existing entry or conversion of a domestic property, or a property previously exempt from rating.
Relief of up to 100% is available for a period of up to 15 months which can be discontinuous e.g. where a property is occupied for a short period prior to becoming empty again. Where the maximum period of relief has been granted, this may become available again where the property is occupied for a period of 6 weeks or more prior to once more becoming unoccupied. Where the property remains unoccupied after the maximum period of relief has been granted, Empty Property Relief may be applied (see above for relief levels).
New start relief may also be applied for up to 15 months after 31/03/18, provided it is entered onto the valuation roll on or before 31/03/18.
There can be no interaction with any other form of relief, e.g. SBBS etc. and any award of relief must not breach State Aid de minimis limit i.e. no more than 200,000 euros, (approximately £170,000), over a rolling 3 year period.
Churches and other places of worship which are occupied by a religious body are exempt from the payment of Rates providing that the property is:
(a) a building occupied by a religious body and used for the purpose of religious worship;
(b) a church hall, chapel hall or similar premises used in connection with a building such as is referred to in paragraph (a) above for the purposes of the religious body which occupies that building; or
(c) any premises occupied by a religious body and used by it:
(i) for carrying out administrative or other activities relating to the organisation of the conduct of religious worship in a building such as is referred to in paragraph (a) above; or
(ii) as an office or for office purposes, or for purposes ancillary to its use as an office or for office purposes.
With effect from 1 April 2017 relief is available where a property is used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a district heating network.
In terms of this relief a district heating network is defined as:
Communal Heating is defined as:
This relief is subject to "State aid" under European Commission rules, which can limit the amount of such aid per recipient. Further information on State aid is available here