The Expanded Retail Discount scheme: a business rate holiday applies to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020/21 tax year as part of measures to support businesses during the outbreak of COVID-19.

At a glance

  • A 100% discount on business rates.
  • This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21.
  • There is no rateable value limit on the relief.
  • The eligibility for the discount and the discount itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.
  • Local authorities use their discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended), to grant relief.
  • Existing small business rate relief continues to apply to businesses occupying small premises.

Applies to properties, referred in the guidance as ‘hereditaments’ used as:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  • for assembly and leisure; or
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
  • Since it was announced the scheme has been extended to estate agents, letting agents and bingo halls. 

To qualify for the relief the hereditament should be wholly or mainly being used for qualifying purposes. This is a test on use rather than occupation.

Hereditaments that will not qualify for relief:

  • Financial services e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers.
  • Medical services e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors.
  • Professional services e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers.
  • Post office sorting offices.

External link

Business Rates Local Authorities Expanded Retail Discount Guidance 


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