Non-domestic rates relief statistics 2023

This publication provides statistics on the numbers of recipients of Non-domestic rates reliefs in Scotland, including breakdowns by relief, property type, and local authority area.

About this publication

Non-domestic rates (sometimes called business rates) are a property tax, charged on non-domestic properties. The amount that each ratepayer will pay is proportional to the determined value of their property, known as the rateable value, and may be reduced by reliefs or exemptions.

More information on non-domestic rates reliefs can be found at

Non-domestic rates relief statistics are derived from the Billing System Snapshot. This is an annual dataset provided to the Scottish Government by local councils. The Billing System Snapshot contains property-level information on reliefs in place on the snapshot date.

The snapshot date was 1 July 2023, however, some councils were unable to provide this information until later in the year due to updates to billing software. This is further explained below.

The Billing System Snapshot is matched with the non-domestic valuation roll, which is maintained by Scottish Assessors, by use of Unique Assessors’ Reference Numbers, to provide quality assurance and more information about each property.

Subject to issues reported below, this publication provides the numbers of properties in receipt of relief on 1 July 2023, as reported by councils. It should be noted that, as figures are based on snapshot data, any changes to reliefs made after the snapshot, such as backdated awards or cancellations, will not be reflected in the data.

Due to the issues with software updates, the snapshot date, and processing of relief applications, we have decided to significantly reduce the level of detail presented in this publication compared to previous years, and not to present relief values or time-series comparisons. It is not possible to discern whether any changes between previous years and 2023 are due to actual changes in relief awards, or changes in the way these are reported.

We have exceptionally published mid-year estimates of total values of mandatory and discretionary reliefs, as reported to us by councils. These can be found in Non-domestic rates income statistics.

We are unable to produce any further breakdowns based on the 2023 Billing System Snapshot, in addition to those presented in the publication tables, as these would not be reliable. 

The snapshot date

Following the 2023 Revaluation, a number of new reliefs, including the General Revaluation Transitional Relief, the Small Business Transitional Relief, and the Parks Transitional Relief were introduced. In addition, the Small Business Bonus Scheme was reformed, introducing a taper for properties with rateable values greater than £12,000 and lower than £20,000.

Not all councils had received all the necessary software updates to record and report new or reformed reliefs by the snapshot date. In these cases, the snapshot was sent later, but backdated to 1 July 2023.

Relief applications

In many cases the snapshot was submitted very soon after software updates had been received and councils weren’t always able to process all relief applications before sharing this data. This is especially the case for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, Small Business Transitional, and Parks Transitional reliefs, all of which required a large number of applications to be processed. The General Revaluation Transitional Relief was awarded automatically.

In addition, where a backdated snapshot was sent significantly after the snapshot date, it includes all reliefs in place on 1 July, even if the application was received later and the relief backdated. This means that there was additional time to receive and process applications, compared with snapshots received on or soon after the snapshot date.

In some cases, we received information on applications for Small Business Bonus Scheme relief, which had not yet been processed, and combined this with Billing System Snapshot data received from councils. In these cases, we calculated the proportion of relief for which the properties would be eligible, assuming all properties are single entries.

General Revaluation Transitional Relief

The General Revaluation Transitional Relief was awarded automatically, but was not in all cases reported correctly, as there were issues in reporting its interaction with other reliefs. In processing the returns, we have therefore completely removed the effects of the reported General Revaluation Transitional Relief, and instead recalculated the relief using information on rateable values before and after revaluation. As this relief is based on rateable values only, and was awarded automatically, we do not expect that our estimates will differ significantly from those awarded by councils.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Due to a cyber-attack, the Comhairle were unable to share their Billing System Snapshot. This publication therefore excludes properties in Na h-Eileanan Siar from relief counts. The valuation roll for Na h-Eileanan Siar is maintained by the Assessor for Highland and Western Isles, who was not affected by the attack, and it was therefore possible to include properties in Na h-Eileanan Siar in figures which relate to just properties, and not reliefs.

Reporting conventions


Figures in tables are rounded to the nearest ten. Numbers greater than zero but which round down to zero are shown as [low]. Actual zero values are shown as 0. Some figures may not sum due to rounding. Figures showing proportions have not been rounded.

Number of properties and reliefs

The total number of reliefs awarded is greater than the number of properties in receipt of relief as some properties receive more than one type of relief.

Zero-rated properties

Reliefs reported as being awarded to zero-rated properties are excluded from all tables, except where noted otherwise. Zero-rated properties are those which have their rateable values set to 0, e.g. properties under reconstruction.

Terms used in this publication

This report refers to lands and heritages listed as separate entries on the valuation roll as ‘properties’. This includes buildings such as shops or offices, as well as other entries such as, for example, shooting rights, car parks, and utilities.


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