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A Brief Guide to Non-Domestic Rates

What is rateable value?

The Scottish Assessors give all non-domestic property in Scotland a rateable value, which is a legally-defined valuation of a property, broadly based on an analysis of annual rental values.

What evidence do Assessors look at in determining rateable value?

The Assessor will compare a range of property information and study the rental market in depth to ensure that rateable valuations are accurate, consistent and reflect the individual characteristics of each property. Further information on the principles of valuation and practice notes which will help explain how the rateable value for your property (ies) have been set can be accessed via the Assessors website at www.saa.gov.uk

How do I find out my rateable value?

The Assessors will write to notify you of the new rateable value, or the search facility at www.saa.gov.uk provides details of rateable values for non-domestic properties in Scotland.

How is my bill calculated?

You pay rates based on a proportion of your rateable value, this percentage is set annually by Scottish Ministers and is called the poundage.

How do you calculate the poundage?

The Scottish Government has committed that the poundage in Scotland will not rise above the equivalent English rate for the lifetime of this Parliament.

Scottish Ministers set the uniform poundage rate to be levied throughout Scotland for each financial year (i.e. 1 April to 31 March).

What is the poundage?

The poundage rate for Scotland in 2013-14 is 46.2 pence. Larger businesses in 2013-14 (rateable value in excess of £35,000) will pay a poundage supplement of 0.9 pence, which contributes towards the cost of the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

What help is available?

A range of relief (discount) schemes are in operation, which you may be eligible for. More details can be found on these web pages.

All rate reliefs are administered by your local authority and you should contact them to discuss any relief you may be entitled to.

Renewable energy relief

A targeted relief for renewable energy producers from 1 April 2010 - offering discounts of up to 100% will support their central role in the climate change agenda and promote expansion of the sector.

This relief operates under State aid de minimis.

Cumulative RV

Percentage relief (%)

up to £145k

100

up to £430k

50

between £430k and £860k

25

between £860k and £4m

10

greater than £4m

2.5

 

What is happening to other relief (discount) schemes in 2013-14?

Rural rate relief - thresholds of rural rate relief will continue to offer the same levels of relief as in earlier years. Thresholds are -

 

Scottish Thresholds

2013-14

Sole shop, general store or post office

£8,500

Sole petrol filling station or pub

£12,750

Cap for discretionary relief

£17,000

The Small Business Bonus Scheme

From 1 April 2013 the SBBS will contine to offer the same levels of relief to Scottish Business as in 2012-13. The Scheme will provide relief to businesses with properties in Scotland with a combined rateable of £18,000 or less. The Scheme was expanded in 2010-11 so that when the cumulative rateable value of a businesses properties falls between £18,000 and £25,000, the Scheme will offer 25% relief to individual properties with a rateable value of up to £18,000.

The Scheme provides the following reliefs from 1 April 2013:

Combined rateable value (RV) of all business properties in Scotland:

2013-14

Up to £10,000

100%

£10,001 to £12,000

50%

£12,001 to £18,000

25%

Upper limit for cumulative (RV)* £25,000

25%

*This will allow a business with 2 or more properties with a cumulative rateable value of under £25,000 to qualify for relief at 25% on individual properties with a RV less than £18,000.

What if I own two different businesses are they treated seperately

In situations where a single person owns two entirely separate businesses which operate completely independently out of separate premises, each business should be treated as an "individual ratepayer" in its own right and the £18,000 limit may be applied to each business property separately.

The decision on whether or not to treat a business as seperate from another is entirely a matter for each local authority to determine.

Empty property relief - For 2013-14 will grant 100% mandatory rates relief to properties which are empty for the first 3 months and 10% discount thereafter. However, for some properties such as industrial and listed buildings and properties with rateable values of less than £1,700 there are no rates to pay even after the first 3 months.

From 1st April 2013 the following two new reliefs will apply.

Fresh Start - The introduction of this new relief will assist owners and landlords fill empty properties as well as encouraging new start-ups through reduced rates bills. New occupiers of shops or offices that have been empty for at least a year will be able to apply for a 50% discount on their business rates for 12 months.

New Start - This new relief will will provide rates relief, of up to 100%, to owners/developers of new build empty properties for up to 18 months to encourage speculative development and investment and help increase the supply of new premises for businesses. The relief will be introduced 6 months earlier than the planned UK Government equivalent and will run for 3 years.

Charity relief - No change to current scheme, where your organisation is a registered charity, listed on the register maintained by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), and the property occupied by your organisation is used "wholly or mainly for charitable purposes", you may be entitled to 80% mandatory rates relief. It is up to each local authority to determine whether a property is being used "wholly or mainly for charitable purposes". Your local authority also has discretionary powers to top this relief up to 100%.

What if I disagree with my rateable value?

If you consider your rateable value to be wrong you should contact your Assessor's office in the first instance. Your local Assessor's office will be happy to answer any queries which you may have on valuation matters. For contacts please visit www.saa.gov.uk

You also have a right to appeal against the rateable value determined by the Assessor. Remember you must continue to pay the rates as billed by your local authority even if you have lodged an appeal.

How can I find out Rateable Values for other properties?

If you want to compare the valuation of your property with others you can inspect the valuation roll for your area. The valuation roll can be seen at the Assessor's office, Rateable values of non-domestic subjects across Scotland can also been found online at the Scottish Assessors Association Portal; www.saa.gov.uk.

Who are the Scottish Assessors?

The Scottish Assessors who are independent of both local and central government are legally responsible for valuing all non-domestic property in Scotland.