Local government finance circular 4/2022 - non-domestic rates relief: guidance

This circular provides general information relating to current arrangements for non-domestic rates reliefs in 2022 to 2023. It also provides examples of supporting documentary evidence. The information was compiled with the involvement of officers from COSLA and the IRRV.

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Coronavirus Reliefs

47. These measures are intended to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

48. The key legislation is The Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus Reliefs) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 which applies for 2022-23 only.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief

49. 50% relief is available for prescribed non-domestic properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for the first three months of 2022-23, capped at £27,500 per ratepayer.

50. Eligbility is based on the property being wholly or mainly used for purposes set out in the Schedule of the regulations.

51. For the avoidance of doubt, lands and heritages which have restricted temporarily due to the government's advice on COVID-19 should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief.

52. Hospitality (classes 1 to 10 of the Schedule) is considered to include bed and breakfast accommodation, camping sites, caravans, caravan sites, chalets, holiday huts, bothies, guest houses, hotels, hostels, public houses (which includes licensed pubs and nightclubs where the sale of alcohol is principally intended for consumption on the premises, and there is no rqeirement that people consume food on the premises in order to purchase alcohol), restaurants, self-catering holiday accommodation and timeshare accommodation.

53. Retail (classes 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17) include:

  • markets the use of which is defined as: "market place on which goods are exhibited for sale to members of the public;
  • retail shops the use of which is defined as: "Use as a shop, being a building or part of a building that is used for the retail sale of goods to members of the public who visit the building to buy goods for consumption or use elsewhere, whether or not by the buyer, for purposes unconnected with a trade or business";
  • service providers the use of which is defined as: "Use to provide hair and beauty services, shoe repairs, key cutting, photo processing, laundry services, car or tool hire, car washing or repair of domestic electronic/electrical goods";
  • Registered letting agencies;
  • Funeral parlours;
  • Travel agencies (used by a travel agency or by a tour operator); and
  • News publishing premises.

54. As regards properties listed as 'kiosks', 'stores', etc. on the valuation roll, these may still be considered to fall under Class 12 - it is for councils to ascertain this based on the definition under Class 12. Equally, where a shop operates both wholesale and retail trading, it is for the council to determine whether it is wholly or mianly used as a retail shop; and where a shop sells goods as well as offers services (e.g. a car showroom where cars can be purchased, with an associated garage) it is also for the council to determine whether it is wholly or mainly used as a retail shop.

55. Leisure (Class 13) includes properties used as an arts gallery or centre, sports club, sports centre, sports ground, clubhouse, gymnasium, museum, cinema, theatre, music venue, ticket office, recreation ground, bingo hall, tourist attraction, tourist facility, soft play centre, amusement arcade or amusement centre.

56. It is for local authorities to interpret the meaning of the uses in the Schedule where these are not specifically legally defined (e.g. travel agency). For instance, castles or standalone visitor centres may be considered eligible under Class 13 under "tourist attraction or tourist facility" if they are wholly or mainly used as such.

57. In 2022-23, this relief may be considered a subsidy under the TCA, and it is therefore subject to the MFA.

58. This relief requires an application.


Email: NDR@gov.scot

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