Business rates

Coronavirus – Non-domestic rates

I am self-isolating and cannot visit a service point / paypoint outlet to pay my rates charge

'Ways to pay' the rates charge are outlined on the reverse of your demand notice, these include Direct debit, online, by BACS or by telephoning the payment line on 01349 886605.

Billing pause for business rate payers in the Highlands

The Highland Council recognises the exceptional economic challenges for local business and has therefore decided to pause business rates bills in respect of financial year 2020/21. The decision to pause will be kept under regular review and is intended to help mitigate the impacts of coronavirus on local businesses and the local economy.

The Scottish Government has announced a rates relief package to businesses, when will these be applied?

On 18 March the Scottish Government announced a range of measures to support businesses through the Covid-19 outbreak.

This support will be available to businesses during the 2020/21 financial year and includes:

  • a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism
  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000
  • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020

Please note these reliefs/grants will only be available to businesses operating as at the 17 March 2020.

Scottish Government Q&A on the rates reliefs and grants

This is very much a live page and will be amended as things develop including the administration of the retail, hospitality and leisure relief and grants. Discussions are currently on-going with council directors of finance on the best way to deliver these grants.

The full details of how businesses can apply for the support, and which sectors will be eligible for the grant, are still being worked out.

The Council is therefore awaiting further information from the Scottish Government. Once this is received we will be working with the Scottish Government and its agencies to put in place arrangements and to alert the business community.

Wages of employees paid by the UK Government

The UK Government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, paying 80% of the salary of staff retained by their employer up to £2,500 a month. The move, which covers gross pay, will be backdated to the start of March and last for three months.

VAT Payments deferred

VAT payments will be deferred until the end of June, while self-assessment income tax payments for July 2020 are to be deferred for six months.

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