On 25 March 2021 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion.
The Government has provided Warwick District Council with £4,264,952 to provide business rates relief on 2021/22 rates bills for businesses affected by Covid-19, but who were not eligible for previous relief schemes.
The deadline for the council to award this relief is 30 September 2022. All eligible businesses have been awarded the relief and have had a letter and bill sent to them.
How will relief be provided?
- Relief will be granted to businesses using discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. This means that rather than providing a physical monetary payment, relief will be awarded through business rates accounts via our business rates systems.
- Revised bills will then be issued showing the amount of relief awarded.
- The relief will be awarded for 2021/22 financial year only and cannot be carried over to 2022/23
Who is eligible for the relief?
Guidance notes provided by the government to accompany the Covid Additional Relief Funding details business sectors along with the percentage positive or negative financial impact they have experienced as a result of the Covid pandemic. Warwick District Council has taken this information into account and have decided the following eligibility criteria for the CARF scheme:
- Businesses must have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.
The following business sectors (as identified by the official Valuation Office Agency rating) will receive a reduction in their 2021-22 Business Rates bills:
• Offices not included in other business sector categories
• Mining and quarrying
Who is not eligible for the relief?
- Any businesses that have received Expanded Retail relief, Nursery Discount, Mandatory rate relief or discretionary rate relief
- Unoccupied premises in 2021-22
- Properties owned or funded by the local authority
- Changes reported after 1st January 2022 will not be taken into account and will not be amended retrospectively after this date.
- Businesses not trading before 1 April 2021
The award process
- Reliefs will be calculated and applied manually to each account on the Business Rates computer system.
- Following the award of relief, a revised Business Rates Bill will be issued along with a covering letter explaining the award and instructing businesses to declare if they do not qualify as a result of the Covid subsidy rules or are not financially impacted by Covid-19.
- Any business contacting the council to instruct they do not qualify will have their relief removed and a revised bill will be issued accordingly.
- Where relief applied to an account subsequently puts the account into credit, if possible, we will move this credit to the next financial year 2022- 23. Where a refund is formally requested by a business this will be refunded.
How much relief will be awarded?
- The amount of relief awarded to each eligible business will be equal to 19% of their Business Rates liability irrespective of their rateable value.
- By awarding 19% this will allow some of the funding being kept back for any businesses that feel they are eligible but have not been identified by the Council.
- If having made all awards (and after addressing any potential challenges) some of the funding remains unallocated, payments will be allocated to some of those other businesses that were not initially included in the list of those we wish to support. This funding will be allocated to those businesses evidencing the biggest negative financial impact
The government will not accept manipulation or falsification of records in order to receive this relief.
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain this relief.
Any relief made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any reliefs paid in error.
Warwick District Councils agreed Covid 19 Additional Relief Fund discretionary policy.