Relief and Exemptions

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5. Hardship relief

The Council, at its discretion, can award up to 100% relief from Business Rates to ratepayers who are experiencing hardship. However, as the Council funds a significant part of this relief itself, cases will only be considered if they are in the interest of the community.

In order for the Council to consider granting hardship relief, an application must be made in writing, including copies of fully audited accounts.

How the Council will assess your application

  • Each case will be considered on its own merits.
  • Reduction of rates on the grounds of hardship is the exception rather than the rule.
  • The test of 'hardship' is not confined strictly to financial hardship - all relevant factors affecting the ability of a business to meet its liability for rates are taken into account.
  • The 'interests' of the Council Tax payers in the area may go wider than direct financial interests. For example the case for a reduction of rates may still outweigh the costs to the Council Tax payer if
    • employment prospects in the area would be worsened by a company going out of business, or
    • the amenities of the area might be reduced if it went out of business

    even though granting rate relief would have an adverse effect on the financial interests of Council Tax payers.

When completing the application form

Make sure you enclose all the documents we need.

If your business is open:

  • Your current and previous two years audited accounts
  • Your last three months bank statements
  • Details of your income and expenditure over the last 3 months if not covered in your audited accounts