Rates Rethink for Northern Ireland

November 28, 2016

Finance Minister, Máirtín ÓMuilleoir’s rates proposals announced on Tuesday include replacing the small business rate relief scheme with a £22m fund for small retail and hospitality sectors. This scheme is aimed at providing more support for fewer businesses.  Any business with an NAV of less than £10,000 will only pay 50% rates.  Businesses with NAVs up to £25,000 will also receive support.

The proposals will affect the charity shops in Northern Ireland who currently pay no rates. It is proposed to charge a levy on such charity shops and the Minister pointed to charity shops in the rest of the UK who receive an 80% discount.

Further proposals include lifting the £400,000 cap on domestic rates and phasing out the early payment discount households receive if they pay their entire rates bill in one go.

Measures are also proposed to increase rates on empty commercial premises with a proposal that such premises should attract a rate of 75%. Presently empty commercial property pays no rates for 3 months and 50% thereafter.

Belfast is to see a pilot “business empowerment zone” scheme for giving additional rate relief to businesses along the Falls and Newtownards Road to incentivise investment and regeneration.

The above proposals have yet to receive NI Executive approval and a consultation period will ensue.

The above article is for information purposes and should not be relied upon without seeking further professional advice. For any property related queries, please contact the Property Team or Patricia Cronin at p.cronin@cfrlaw.co.uk