Non-Domestic Rates Relief Statistics 2021

This publication provides statistics on the numbers of recipients and values of Non-Domestic Rates reliefs in Scotland, including breakdowns by relief, property type and local authority area, and additional information on SBBS and reliefs introduced to support businesses through the pandemic.

About this publication

This publication provides a snapshot of the reliefs and exemptions from Non-Domestic Rates that were in place on 1 June 2021.

The data in this publication is derived from the Billing System Snapshot, a property-level dataset of all reliefs being awarded at the snapshot date, provided to the Scottish Government by local authorities who administer Non-Domestic Rates. This data was matched with the Valuation Roll, maintained by the Scottish Assessors, to access more information about the individual properties in receipt of reliefs.

Detailed information on Non-Domestic Rates and reliefs can be found in the Background Notes, on, and in the detailed guidance for local authorities which is available on the Scottish Government's website.[1]

This publication is accompanied by two Excel documents. The "publication tables" workbook contains the tables presented in the body of the publication, some of which are expanded to include data for 2018, 2019, and 2020,[2] or to include additional columns which have been omitted from the body of the publication for presentational reasons. The "additional tables" workbook contains more detailed breakdowns of some figures presented in this publication and the publication tables.

Relief values

The figures presented in this publication report the relief awards as at the snapshot date, and are likely to differ from the value of a given relief over the full year. In calculating relief values for this publication, all awards reported in the billing snapshot are assumed to be in place for the entire financial year.

Reliefs may be awarded later in the year and backdated to the start of the year, and some awards may have been cancelled before the snapshot date, or may be cancelled before the end of the year. Any awards made after 1 June 2021 (regardless of whether they are backdated), or cancelled or expired before 1 June 2021, are not included in this publication.

The rateable values of properties may also change throughout the year, changing the tax base and thus changing the relief values.

The figures in this publication are in particular likely to underestimate the total values of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) and Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, and Aviation (RHLA) reliefs for the full year. These issues are discussed in more detail in the section on comparability to previous publications, as well as in the sections on the SBBS and RHLA reliefs.

It should also be noted that the value of reliefs presented here includes the full values of the discretionary reliefs, and not just the part funded by the Scottish Government. Some discretionary reliefs are partly or fully funded by local authorities. Other sources of Non-Domestic Rates Income (NDRI) data present only the Scottish Government's contribution to the value of reliefs. For instance, Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics (SLGFS)[3] show final, audited, relief values, which are the actual values of the reliefs for the entire year, and, unlike the relief values in this publication, include only the Scottish Government's contribution to the value of discretionary reliefs. Figures for 2021-22 are expected to be published in early 2023.

COVID-19 reliefs

The 100% Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, and Aviation (RHLA) relief, introduced in 2020-21, continues to be available in 2021-22 to properties used for particular purposes in those sectors. This relief was automatically awarded in 2020-21, but in 2021-22 requires that an application be made.

The Basic Property Rate (poundage) was effectively frozen for a second year. In 2020-21, this was delivered through a 1.6% universal relief which was awarded to all properties, after the poundage was increased from its 2019-20 level of 49p to 49.8p. In 2021-22, the poundage was decreased to 49p. Due to this, the values of reliefs in 2021-22 are lower than they would have been had the poundage been increased in line with inflation. However, this does not affect the net amount that ratepayers pay.

Comparability to previous publications

When comparing the figures presented in this publication to the data published for previous years, especially data on SBBS and RHLA reliefs, it should be kept in mind that due to application processes, including any reviews of awarded SBBS relief, the 2021 billing snapshot is likely to underestimate the number of properties receiving those reliefs.

From 1 April 2020, properties that are not in active occupation are not eligible for SBBS relief. To implement this policy change, several local authorities undertook reviews of SBBS between the 2020 and 2021 snapshots. These reviews may mean that some or all awards were cancelled and ratepayers were asked to reapply. Any application (including a reapplication) that was not received or processed by 1 June 2021 would not be reflected in this publication.

RHLA relief is also now application-based, rather than automatically awarded as in 2020-21. Due to the timing of the billing snapshot, any application for RHLA relief that was not received or processed by 1 June 2021, as with any other relief, would not be reflected in this publication. The relief can be backdated to the start of 2021-22 for applications made in respect of 2021-22. Since any property eligible for the relief in 2020-21 remains eligible in 2021-22 (provided it continues to fulfil the eligibility criteria), it is expected that further applications will be received and the value of the relief is likely to show a marked increase by the end of the year. Further information regarding the comparability of RHLA relief figures between the 2020 and 2021 snapshots can be found in the section on RHLA relief.



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