Non-Domestic Rates

January 22nd, 2014 by James Goudie KC

The Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Rate Relief) (England) (Amendment) Order 2014, SI 2014/43 (“the 2014 Order”), amends the Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Rate Relief) (England) Order 2012 (“the 2012 Order”) to provide for a temporary extension to the increase in small business rates relief in England until 31 March 2015 and to extend the scope of the relief where small businesses expand.

The 2012 Order prescribes the conditions for eligibility for small business rate relief and the rates of relief in relation to eligible hereditaments.  A hereditament is only eligible where it is the sole hereditament occupied by the ratepayer, but additional hereditaments are disregarded where their rateable value is not more than £2,599 and the aggregate rateable value of all hereditaments occupied by the ratepayer does not exceed £25,499 if situated in Greater London or £17,999 if situated outside Greater London.  The 2014 Order substitutes new provisions for Articles 3(6) and 4(7) of the 2012 Order so that where a ratepayer starts to occupy an additional hereditament, the ratepayer does not lose the benefit of the relief for the first 12 months of occupation.

Where the eligibility criteria are satisfied a ratepayer’s daily liability for non-domestic rates in respect of that hereditament is determined under Section 43(4A) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.  Section 43(4A) provides for the calculation in accordance with the formula (A x D) divided by (C x E) where: A is the rateable value of the hereditament; D is the small business non-domestic rating multiplier for the financial year; C is the number of days in the financial year; and E is such amount as is prescribed in relation to the hereditament by the Secretary of State by Order. Article 4 of the 2012 Order prescribes the amount of E for the financial years beginning on 1 April 2012 and 2013 and Article 3 of the 2012 Order prescribes the amount of E for subsequent financial years.

The 2014 Order amends the 2012 Order to apply Article 4 of the 2012 Order to the financial year beginning on 1 April 2014.  The effect of this amendment is to extend the temporary doubling of the level of small business rate relief for a further year.  Article 4 will also continue to apply in respect of days falling within the financial years which started on 1 April 2012 and 1 April 2013.

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