Help available for business rates

Rates holiday

Guide

A business rates holiday, administered by Land & Property Services (LPS), is a period of time when no rates are charged. Eligibility for a rates holiday is based on the type of business, and the duration of the rates holidays changes each rating year.

2022-23 rating year

The NI Executive has made provision for two rates holidays for the current rating year: a 1-month; and a 3-month rates holiday.

1-month rates holiday (April 2022)

All businesses will be provided with a one month rates holiday for April 2022 with the exception of public bodies, utilities, larger food stores and off-licences.

3-month rates holiday (April 2022 - June 2022)

Those business sectors that will receive the 3 month 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, 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 who will receive the rates holiday are 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.

Find further criteria may apply in the above sectors. You can read more information in the frequently asked questions on the 2022-23 rates holiday (PDF, 586K).

The rate holiday will be applied automatically by LPS if they have the business information to do so. You must wait to receive your 2022-23 rate bill to find out if the rates holiday has been automatically awarded. If it has been awarded you will see a credit referred to as ‘Rate Holiday’. For businesses who believe they are eligible and have not received the rates holiday, the online application portal is now accepting applications.

Apply for the rates holiday

Rates holidays for previous rating years

12-months rates holiday (April 2021 - March 2022)

Most of the businesses that will be entitled to the 3 month rates holiday for the 2022-23 rating year were also entitled to a holiday for the period 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2022.

Further information about the rates holidays for 2021-22 and supporting legislation is available in frequently asked questions on the rates holiday for 2021-22 (PDF, 650K).

12-months rates holiday (April 2020 - March 2021)

Most of the businesses that were entitled to the 12-month rates holiday for the 2021-22 rating year were also entitled to a holiday for the period 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021.

Further information about the rates holidays for 2020-21 and supporting legislation is available in frequently asked questions on the rates holiday for 2020-21 (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, LPS may not have enough information about your business.

You can use the Rates Holiday Application Form 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 rates holiday

You may opt-out of rates holidays for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 rating years by emailing the Rates Holiday Team at 12MonthsRatesHoliday@finance-ni.gov.uk. Please include the detail of the property and the rate account. You will be sent an updated bill by LPS.

Please note: LPS Customer Information Centres will be closed until further notice. All Ordnance Survey services are available online or you can email queries to Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk. Helplines for rating and valuation, housing benefit, rates relief and land registration are open.

Further information on service updates, helpline numbers and reaching LPS by email are available on the LPS website.

  • Land & Property Services Helpline (including rates holiday enquiries)
    0300 200 7801