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Automatic business rate relief ruled out

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Providing small businesses with automatic rate relief is not a practical option, the government has said.

Business groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have been arguing that firms should be given the rate relief available to smaller enterprises without having to apply for it.

However, the department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has said that an automatic scheme would be impractical since not all small properties are occupied by small businesses and a business may not qualify for relief if they occupy more than one property.

Businesses can apply to their local authorities for relief if the rateable value of their property is less than £15,000 or £21,500 in London.

The CLG did point out that, although firms must still apply, several moves have been implemented to make it simpler for firms to claim relief and that applications can now be carried from one year to the next.