Transitional Business Rates Relief – 2017/18

August 22, 2017
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All business ratepayers in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire should be aware of the transitional rates relief available for the current 2017/18 financial year. The overall position is somewhat complicated by the fact that there are three separate relief systems in operation, depending on the type and location of the property. Ratepayers should also note that the Aberdeen City Council local relief system has a deadline of 30th September 2017 for applications to be submitted.

The Scottish Government TR scheme provides relief to the hospitality sector (hotels, public houses, restaurants etc.) where rates payable have increased by more than 14.75% as a result of the 2017 Revaluation; relief under this scheme is also available to office properties in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. The Aberdeen City local TR scheme is based on the same 14.75% increase threshold but applies to all property types not covered by the national scheme; the Aberdeen scheme is also restricted to a maximum of £3,500 of relief for properties with a rateable value in excess of £60,000. Both of these schemes require applications to be completed and submitted to Aberdeen City Council for consideration, however, the local Aberdeenshire Council scheme is applied automatically to qualifying properties. The Aberdeenshire scheme provides relief of up to 50% of the increase in rates payable resulting from the recent revaluation but is only applicable to properties with a rateable value up to a maximum of £120,000. And just to further complicate matters, there are special provisions for the many instances where rating assessments have been split into more than one entry with effect from 1st April 2017 – in these cases the rating authority is not able to make a like-for-like comparison of rates payable before and after revaluation so a formula has to be applied to calculate the amount of relief due.

The key points to note here are that there is a substantial pot of relief available to many business ratepayers throughout Aberdeen City and Shire; take-up so far has been fairly low as the Scottish Government and Aberdeen City schemes require an application to be submitted and many businesses are unaware that these schemes are in place; and in relation to the Aberdeen City scheme – if an application is not submitted by 30th September, the opportunity to claim the relief available will be lost. If you require any advice or assistance in order to determine whether your business may qualify for transitional rates relief, please contact our Rating Team:

Scott Strachan – 01224 597536 or Moira Gordon – 01224 597526

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