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Business rates in Scotland – April 2019

The principles of  business rates in Scotland are broadly similar to the rating systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All non domestic properties are given an assessment (rateable value) which is equivalent to an annual rental value.

The last revaluation took place in 2017 and the next revaluation is scheduled for 2022.

Business Rate Appeals

There is a general right of appeal against assessments but appeals are limited to the first 6 months after a revaluation or 6 months after receipt of an assessor’s valuation notice.

New occupiers can appeal within 6 months of taking occupation or ownership and there is also a right of appeal if the physical circumstances affecting a property change.

Rate Reliefs

There is a rural rate relief scheme available for properties located in designated areas with a population of less than 3,000.

But only small food shops, general stores and post offices with an assessment of less that £8,500 qualify.

The Small Business Bonus Scheme is more generous.

This provides 100% relief for properties with a rateable value between £0 and £15,000.

25% relief is available for properties assessed between £15,001 and £18,000.

Businesses occupying more than one property can still claim Small Business Bonus Scheme relief, but only if the combined rateable value of all their properties is less than £35,000 and the individual rateable value of each property is less than £18,000.