Scottish businesses urged to claim business rates relief

Small businesses in Scotland are being urged to take advantage of tax reliefs on business rates via the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS). 

Small businesses can save up to £4,620 under the scheme, which provides tapered tax relief on business rates based on a Government-rated evaluation of properties.

Figures show that:

  • a record number of business properties in Scotland are benefiting from the SBBS; up by 44 per cent from 64,179 in 2008/09 to 92,381 in 2013/14
  • businesses can save an average of £1,668 under the scheme
  • the SBBS has reduced business rates paid by Scottish businesses by £154 million in 2013/14.

The Scottish Government has written to eligible businesses not claiming the bonus encouraging them to sign up.

Scottish enterprise minister Fergus Ewing said: "Over 92,000 recipients will save an average of £1,668 this year as a result of our investment in supporting small business."

"This is good news, but there are still premises in Scotland eligible for the Small Business Bonus which are not benefiting from these savings."

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) welcomed the news but said that business rates continue to burden small businesses.

The SCC's chief executive, Liz Cameron, said: "The fact remains that the Scottish Government's revenues from business rates have risen from just over £2 billion in 2010/11 to £2.4 billion this year and are forecast to grow to almost £2.9 billion in 2015/16. This is an increase of nearly 40 per cent in just five years and shows that, despite the excellent Small Business Bonus scheme, many Scottish businesses are being hit hard by punishing year-on-year increases in their rates bills."

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