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Non-domestic rates - money off your bill

Rates relief

Relief may be available to reduce your bill, depending on the rateable value or use of the property. The main types of relief are listed below and more information and some application forms are available to download. You must tell us if your circumstances change as this could affect the amount of relief you get. 

    Empty property relief                                    Small business bonus relief*

    Sports club relief                                           Charitable relief

    Discretionary relief                                        Place of worship exemption

    Rural relief                                                    Disabled relief

    Renewable energy generation relief               Fresh start  relief

    New start relief                                             Transitional relief

*Small business bonus relief has changed this year. If you don't have this relief on your bill and your new rateable value is £18,000 or less you may qualify for some relief. Download the application form or call us on 0303 123 1015 for more information.

Further details on these and other reliefs is available here www.mygov.scot.

Empty property relief

Relief is available to all unoccupied properties and the level of relief depends on the type of property and whether or not it has previously been empty.

Exempt properties

100% relief is available to the following properties:

  • properties with a rateable value of less than £1700
  • properties which are unoccupied due to the death or insolvency of the ratepayer
  • properties which are legally prohibited from occupation
  • properties which are under compulsory purchase order
  • listed buildings, ancient monuments and buildings subject to a preservation order
  • where there are no buildings on site

Other properties:

  • industrial properties - 100% relief is given for 6 months then 10% relief (previous empty claims may reduce the exempt period)
  • all other properties - 50% relief for 3 months then 10% relief (previous empty claims may reduce the 50% relief period)

This relief must be re-applied for each financial year. To apply, fill in our empty property relief form.

Small business bonus relief

You will qualify for relief if the combined rateable value of all your properties is £35,000 or less and where the individual property has a rateable value of £18,000 or less.  The percentage of relief is as follows:

Combined rateable value of all business properties in Scotland 2017 - 2018
 Up to £15,000  100% relief
 £15,001 - £18,000  25% relief
 £18,001 - £35,000*  25% relief

*A ratepayer with multiple properties with a cumulative rateable value between £18,001 and £35,000 can be eligible for 25% relief for individual properties each with a rateable value up to £18,000.

Different levels of relief apply prior to 1 April 2016 and we will award relief prior to this date based on your rateable value(s) at that time without you needing to complete another application.

The amount of relief we give you will depend on the total rateable value of all the properties where you are responsible for paying rates and whether or not you are entitled to any other rates reliefs.

To apply for small business bonus relief, fill out a small business bonus relief application form.

Relief is available for the categories listed below - please contact us using the details listed over if you need further information or an application form:

Charitable relief

Where a property is occupied by a Scottish registered charity for a charitable purpose, but is not available to charity trading companies - the amount of relief we give depends on the use of the property.

Sports club relief

For licensed sports clubs, unlicensed sports clubs and Community Amateur Sports Clubs - the amount of relief we can give depends on the individual circumstances of each club.

Fresh start relief

Where a property is occupied after empty property relief being awarded for the preceding 12 months - only available to specific types of properties with a rateable value of £65,000 or less.

New start relief

For newly built properties that are vacant when they first become liable for rates, provided that they are first liable prior to 1 April 2018 - we can award relief for up to 15 months to specific types of properties.

Disabled relief

Where the property is used only to provide care or training to disabled people.

Rural relief

For some rural properties depending on the rateable value and use of the premises. 

Renewable energy generation relief

For sites that only generate renewable energy and have a qualifying charitable or community interest involvement in the project, apart from some new sites which may qualify without charitable or community interest.

Place of worship exemption

Where the property is used as a place of worship, or a hall used in association with a place of worship.

Discretionary relief

For local organisations not conducted for profit, where they are concerned with activities including recreation, philanthropic or religious interests or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. Please note that education does not include further education.

Transitional relief

Relief is available for some properties where their 2017/18 rates bill has increased by more than 12.5% (plus inflation) compared to their 2016/17 rates bill. The relief will limit the increase to 14.75% in real terms. Additionally, 50% relief is also available where no rates were payable on 31 March 2017 due to 100% relief being awarded for that day and the rateable value of the property on that day was £10,000 or less.