Skip to content Skip to search
My Norwich
New Covid tier for Norwich

On 26 November the government announced Norwich will be going into Tier 2 from Wednesday 2 December.

Read more

Reliefs and exemptions

Discretionary revaluation relief scheme

Discretionary revaluation relief provides support to businesses that face the steepest increase in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The relief is based on funding from central government and is subject to state aid limits. 

The relief is effective from 1 April 2017 and will be provided over four years. The amount of relief provided will gradually reduce over this four year period.

The relief is calculated by comparing the ratepayer’s charge on 31 March 2017 to their new charge on 1 April 2017, after all other reliefs have been awarded. The amount of this increase will decide how much relief is awarded.

The relief applies to occupied properties only.

The relief is solely dependent on the increase in the rates bill, not the size of the property. This means that a small business that has seen a large increase in their rates bill will receive the same help as a large ratepayer also facing the same increase. The amount of the relief has been banded and the bands for the 2017/18 financial year are shown below:-

Increase £ Relief awarded £
250 to < 500 125
500 to > 1,000 250
1,000 to > 2,000 500
2,000 to > 3,000 1,000
3,000 to > 4,000 1,500
4,000 to > 5,000 2,000
> 5,000 3,000

The amount of relief awarded is set at 50% of the lower value of the band or, in the case of the highest band, 60%. This means ratepayers receive relief of between 25% and 60% of the increase in their rates bill.

Ratepayers must have seen an increase of at least £250 to qualify for this scheme.

There is no upper limit and increases of £5,000 and above will receive £3,000 relief.

The amount of the increase will be calculated after all other reliefs are awarded. This means ratepayers may qualify for multiple reliefs, for example Transitional Relief, Charitable Relief, or Small Business Rate Relief, before Discretionary Revaluation Relief.

No relief will be awarded to companies operating on a national basis.

The principle of the scheme is to award a lesser amount of relief each year so increases in rates bills are gradually phased in. The government funding for future years will reduce and the amount per band will be adjusted in line with the reduction.

Discretionary Revaluation Relief rules

The applicant must be the ratepayer on both 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017.

The hereditament must be occupied on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017, and must continue to be occupied in order for the relief to apply.

There must have been an increase in the net rates payable, after all other reliefs, due to the 2017 revaluation, either directly (eg RV increase) or indirectly (loss of a relief).

The increase will be ascertained by comparing the net rates payable on 31 March 2017 to the net rates payable on 1 April 2017. The increase is measured on the net rates payable after all other reliefs have been deducted, including transitional, mandatory and discretionary reliefs.

The award for Year 1 will only be for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, however:

  • the award will be apportioned on a daily basis for the dates the property was occupied if the ratepayer vacates the property,
  • the award will be apportioned on a daily basis for the dates the property was occupied if the property becomes unoccupied for any other reason,
  • the award will be recalculated if the net rates payable, and therefore the amount of the increase, changes (either up or down),
  • the award will reflect any changes in occupation backdated to 1 April 2017, but not any taking effect on or after 2 April 2017, and
  • any overpaid relief will be repayable and will be recovered through the rates bill.

Awards of relief for a future year will only apply for that year and will be subject to the same rules as above.

The award is subject to state aid rules and ratepayers are responsible for checking they do not breach these rules if they are awarded relief.  Ratepayers may be required to sign a declaration that they do not breach the state aid de-minimus level and confirming any other information required.

The relief will not apply to excepted hereditaments where a precepting authority is the ratepayer. These include accounts for Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The relief will not apply to businesses that operate on a national basis.

Applications for relief will be valid for the four years of the scheme (subject to the above rules).

How to apply

Business can apply at anytime within the four year period if they meet the criteria. Relief will only be awarded for the year it is granted, with no backdating.

To apply, email revenues@norwich.gov.uk or call 01603 212898. There is no formal application form for this relief.

Examples of how revaluation relief will assist ratepayers

Example 1

Mr G is the ratepayer for a city centre shop. He is the ratepayer on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017 and occupies the property on both dates.

Mr G’s rateable value (RV) has increased from £8,500 to £13,000 as a result of the 2017 Revaluation. He used to have no business rates to pay as he received Small Business Rate Relief, but his RV increase means he now only receives partial Small Business Rates Relief and has a rates bill of £2,024.

As Mr G meets the criteria he is eligible for Revaluation Relief. His increase means Mr G receives a reduction of £1,000 in 2017/2018. This is equivalent to 49% of the increase in his rates bill.

Example 2

Mrs D is the ratepayer for a small industrial unit on a trading estate. She is the ratepayer on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017 and occupies the property on both dates.

Mrs D’s RV has increased from £6,000 to £10,000 as a result of the 2017 Revaluation. She does not qualify for any other reliefs so her rates bill has increased from £2,904 on 31 March 2017 to £4,660 on 1 April 2017, an increase of £1,756.

As Mrs D meets the criteria she is eligible for Revaluation Relief. Her increase means she receives £500 Revaluation Relief for 2017/2018. This is equivalent to 28.5% of the increase in her rates bill.

On 1 May 2017 Mrs D sold the property and is no longer the ratepayer. She will still receive the relief for 1 April 2017 to 30 April 2017, apportioned on a daily basis. The new ratepayer will not receive any relief as they do not meet the criteria for having been the ratepayer on 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017.