To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.
The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates reliefs (discounts). It has also introduced a one-off grant for some businesses.
These reliefs will be available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
It will be possible to apply for the grants from 24 March 2020 and they will be available to 31 March 2021.
Extra reliefs to help with coronavirus
All non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. This relief effectively reverses the change in poundage for 2020-21.
You do not need to apply for this relief as it will be applied to your bill by your local council.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's coronavirus advice will be treated as occupied.
You do not need to apply for this relief and it will be applied to your bill by your local council.
You can get these rates reliefs even if you already get another relief for your property.
Scottish airports will get 100% rates relief for a year, as will organisations providing handling services for scheduled passenger flights at Scottish airports.
This will help ensure that the aviation industry can work towards restoring the connectivity needed to support both Scotland's economy and Scotland's Highland and island communities once this crisis is over.
Due to the unique role that Loganair plays in providing connectivity in the Highlands and Islands, they will also get 100% rates relief for a year. No other airline will receive rate relief in Scotland.
Eligible handling service providers
Any organisations providing a "handling service" at Scottish airports are eligible.
The regulation defines a "handling service" as doing one or more of:
- moving aircraft
- waste servicing
- allocation of seating
- handling of baggage
- supervision of boarding
Provision of handling services is vital for airport operation, which is why they have also been granted rate relief.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
A one-off grant of £10,000 will also be available to small businesses who get:
If you're eligible for a grant, you do not need to repay it.
Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for a grant if they:
- are a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more), and
- were let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20
You can only apply for one grant – even if you own multiple properties.
Applying for a grant and getting paid
To apply, you'll need to complete an application form. You can find this form on your local council website.
Councils will aim to make payment within 10 working days of receiving a grant application form.
Deferring payment of non-domestic rates
If you're struggling to pay your non-domestic rates bill you should contact your local council and ask them about your payment options.
Types of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who qualify for the one-off £25,000 grant
These businesses include:
- animal welfares
- arts centres
- auction marts
- bed & breakfast accommodation
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- bowling clubs
- camping sites
- car washes
- caravans that are a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more) and let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20
- cricket clubs
- entertainment centres
- exhibition venues
- football grounds
- funeral parlours
- garden centres
- golf clubs
- golf driving ranges
- guest houses
- ice rinks
- leisure centres
- military facilities
- outdoor centres
- petrol filling stations
- play centres
- playing fields
- post offices
- public houses
- race tracks
- recreation grounds
- retail warehouses
- riding schools
- sailing clubs
- self-catering accommodation that's a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more) and let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20
- shooting ranges
- show homes
- ski clubs
- snack bars
- snooker clubs
- sports centres
- sports grounds
- squash clubs
- swimming pools
- tennis clubs
- visitor centres
- youth hostels
- a site, for example a kiosk or photo booth
- a stance, for example a market stall
- time share units
These lists are not exhaustive. If you think you may be eligible for this relief, contact your local council.
State aid rules still apply in the UK until the end of 2020.
The European Commission has announced a number of temporary State aid measures. These measures aim to help with the financial pressures businesses face as a result of coronavirus.
The Scottish Government will work with the UK Government to make sure these measures can be adopted to help Scottish Businesses where possible.