Business Rates Hardship Relief
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Important Notes to read before you complete your application for relief.
In very exceptional circumstances the Council can use its discretion to award a reduction in your business rates bill on the grounds of hardship. It is important to note that when deciding whether to award relief, the elected members of the Council take many factors into account. It is not sufficient that your business is not profitable.
Sefton Council recognises that the voluntary and community sector makes a major contribution to the economy, health and well-being of the people who live and work in Sefton. However, Discretionary Rate Relief granted by Sefton Council is paid for by the Council Tax payers and the Council has a duty to ensure that public funds are spent wisely and there is due transparency and accountability.
Therefore, you should please note that all decisions to be taken in respect of applications for Hardship relief will be published together with the application forms and supporting information which are considered in reaching the decision.
Subsidy Control
You may be required to submit a Subsidy Control Declaration Form after reading the guidance notes.
A subsidy refers to a grant, a tax relief, a loan, or other form of financial assistance paid from public resources.
Business rates discretionary relief is likely to amount to a subsidy. Any relief provided by Local Authorities under these schemes will need to comply with the UK’s domestic and international subsidy control obligations.
Further details on Subsidy Control can be found on the Council’s web page:
Business Rates - Subsidy Control (
When considering your application for Hardship Relief, we need to know if you or any company in your group of businesses has received Subsidy or if you expect to receive any Subsidy in the current financial year or the previous two financial years.
WARNING: If you knowingly submit the form and it is found to be false, you could be subject to prosecution.
You must notify Sefton Council immediately if there are any changes in circumstances that may affect a discount or a relief.
To complete a Hardship Relief Application you will need:
- your Business Rates Account Number
- details of all Subsidy received in the last two financial years or due in this financial year, where appropriate, including amounts, date received, the organisation providing the Subsidy and the nature of the Subsidy.
- Names, addresses and dates of birth of all directors, partners, senior managers and trustees
- Details of other properties you occupy including amounts of Business Rate Relief you receive
- To provide statements detailing;
How the granting of relief will benefit the residents of Sefton
What the impact of not awarding relief would be on the business
How the awarding of relief will maintain or help grow a viable business that contributes to the growth or regeneration of Sefton’s economy
* This indicates mandatory fields