Commercial Rates Waiver Scheme: Quarter 1, 2021 – the details

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have introduced a new rates waiver scheme for the first quarter of 2021 (25% of the annual rate bill).

The rates waiver, where applicable, will take the form of a credit in lieu of commercial rates on the rate payer’s accounts.

This is a standalone 3-month waiver scheme, separate from last year’s scheme; the eligibility criteria of this scheme is much stricter than prior schemes with more rate payers falling into the excluded category and therefore exempted from the scheme.

Eligible rate payer categories are listed in pdf attachment below (Appen C) . Any business that is not within same will be excluded.

Eligible Categories

  • Hospitality;
  • Leisure;
  • Miscellaneous Entertainment;
  • Non Essential Retail (Shops and Warehouse);
  • Airports;
  • Essential Retail (excluding Large Supermarkets, greater than 500M2);
  • Health;
  • Service Stations;
  • Personal Care; and
  • Childcare.

Companies in the excluded category have the right of appeal. 

If your business is in the excluded category, you can appeal this decision to your local authority – in Co Clare, appeals should be sent to Clare County Council by email at . In making an appeal, which must be submitted before 26th February 2021, you will be required to provide evidence of the severe impact experienced.

Evidence supplied should be illustrative rather than exhaustive. Clare County Council will be open to considering other relevant evidence that reasonably demonstrates eligibility for the three-month credit in lieu of rates for companies in the excluded categories.

Evidence required:

  • Evidence that the business undertaken at the rateable property was not considered an essential retail outlet or service under S.I. 701 of 2020 or S.I. 4 of 2021, and thus was forced to close.
  • Evidence of participation in the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme operated by Revenue.
  • Evidence of employment ceasing and employees availing of the PUP.
  • Copies of documentation submitted to a financial institution as part of the negotiation of relief measures with the financial institution.
  • Copies of correspondence with Revenue to agree forbearance measures with regard to tax liabilities.
  • Evidence of reliance on the Government Credit Guarantee Scheme or overdraft facilities or other borrowings for capital purposes.

In line with eligibility for the CRSS scheme, ratepayers in excluded categories should demonstrate turnover from the relevant business activity in the claim period does not exceed 25% of the average weekly turnover in 2019. In other words, can you compare three months January to March 2019 to your actual /projected three months January to March 2021?

Please note that demonstration of a decline of at least 75% in turnover, when compared to same period in 2019, does not automatically confer a right to have the credit in lieu of rates applied, or if a credit in lieu of rates is applied it does not automatically confer a right to have 100% credit in lieu of rates applied.

Shannon Chamber would advise that this is a consistent approach by all local authorities nationally. The appeal process is with your relevant local authority. We would advise you to carefully read the correspondence you receive from your local authority/Clare County Council to assess any action you may need to take and to be aware of the deadline date for appeals – 26th February 2021 – to enable each local authority to submit their appeals’ number to Government.

The Appeals Process in Clare County Council will be managed by Liam Conneally, Director of Economic Development, SMD and Noeleen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance and Support Services. 

Please find below:

‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ) document in relation to the scheme for your reference. Also,  Appendix C attached gives a detailed list of businesses that will qualify for the waiver.

FAQs for Fin 01 2021 Commercial rates waiver Q1 2021.doc

Appen C Commercial rates waiver Q1 2021