Help available for business rates
12-months rates holiday (April 2021-March 2022)
As part of emergency support measures agreed by the NI Executive in response to the COVID-19 crisis, specific sectors approved by the NI Executive will receive a full 12-month rates holiday from business rates for the entire financial year of 2021-22.
The legislation which specifies the entitlements for this period is The Rates (Coronavirus) (Emergency Relief) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.
Those business sectors that are expected to receive the rates holiday are listed below:
- Hospitality - including restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, public houses.
- Tourism - including B&Bs and self-catering holiday accommodation (which pay business rates), guest houses, hotels, privately run caravan & camping sites, tourist attractions and facilities.
- Leisure - including cinemas, theatres, leisure centres and facilities, museums, sports premises, sports grounds and associated sport clubs, clubhouses, and music venues.
- Retail and retail services - shops of all types and sizes (excluding retail premises with retail floor space greater than 500m² Net Internal Area (NIA) and which are wholly or mainly used for the retail sale of food and household goods; and all off-licences). Examples of services include hairdressers, barbers, nail and beauty services, fast food outlets, garden centres, travel agencies, car showrooms, auction houses, and clothing, shoe or electrical goods repairs.
- Childcare - children's day-care and nursery premises.
- Airports - Belfast City Airport, Belfast International Airport and City of Derry Airport.
- Newspapers - premises occupied by local newspaper companies for production purposes.
- Manufacturing - businesses in receipt of Industrial Derating.
Find further information in the frequently asked questions on the 2021-22 rates holiday (PDF, 649K).
If there is enough information available to Land & Property Services (LPS) to indicate that the use of your property is considered to be eligible (as set out in The Regulations), the rates holiday will be automatically applied to your rate bill.
If you receive your rate bill and the rates holiday has not been already applied, and you consider that your property is used for one of the qualifying uses, please complete the online application form. LPS will use the information provided about your business use to decide if you are eligible for the rates holiday. Please note that LPS do not have the authority to award rates holidays other than to business uses as stated in The Regulations.
12-months rates holiday (April 2020 - March 2021)
Most of the businesses that will be entitled to the 12-month rates holiday for the 2021-22 rating year were also entitled to this for the period 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021.
In most cases, this was automatically applied to the rate bill for the 2020-21 year. The legislation which specified the entitlements for that period is The Rates (Coronavirus) (Emergency Relief) (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 and subsequent amendments.
Find further information in the frequently asked questions on the 2020-21 rates holiday (PDF, 648K)
What if the rates holiday has not been applied?
If you consider that your business was entitled to a rates holiday and this was not applied to your bill within the relevant billing period, Land & Property Services (LPS) may not have enough information about your business.
You can use the Rates Holiday Application Form. This will enable you to provide LPS with more information to assess whether your business is entitled to 12-months rate relief for the relevant rating period(s).
Opting out of the 12-month rates holiday
Businesses who do not wish to avail of the rate relief provided by the 12-month rates holiday for 2021-22 may opt out by emailing 12MonthsRatesHoliday@finance-ni.gov.uk. The opt-out request must be sent by an authorised representative for the business and must include the business name, the rate account ID and property ID for the relevant rate account, the address of the premises, and a short statement confirming that the business wishes to opt-out of receiving the 12 months rates holiday.
These details are all shown on the business rate bill. On receipt of the opt-out request, LPS will issue the business with an updated rate bill which will include full rate liability for the 2021-22 rating year.