The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has published guidance on the operation of the retail discount business rates scheme announced at Autumn Budget 2018.

The relief will apply to occupied retail properties – in England only – with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021. The guidance recognises the inclusion of petrol forecourts and post offices within the definition of businesses that are ‘wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments’. ATMs are not included within the definitions.

The value of discount should be one third of the bill, and must be applied after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs have been applied.

The exact eligibility criteria are to be determined by local authorities. We recommend that you contact your local council for more information.

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