A new scheme designed to allow businesses increased flexibility in paying their rates bills will come into force on April 1 2012.
The Scottish Government’s 2012-13 Business Rates Deferral Scheme will kick in as annual business rates, which are linked to inflation, rise by 5.6%.
Businesses across Argyll and Bute now have the chance to opt in to the new scheme for their 2012-13 bills. This will allow them to spread the repayment of part of the 5.6% increase over a three year period.
Every business which pays business rates qualifies for the scheme. However, local firms have to apply to Argyll and Bute Council in order to participate.
Under the scheme, businesses can choose to defer payment of 60% of the 5.6% increase (equivalent to 3.2% of their total 2012-13 non-domestic rates bill). They will be expected to repay half of the deferred amount in 2013-14 and the other half the following year.
There will be no interest payable on the deferred amount.
Argyll and Bute’s council leader, Councillor Dick Walsh, said: “There may well be organisations across our area interested in joining this scheme, which is being administered by the council on behalf of the Scottish Government.
“However, as this is an opt-in initiative, these businesses need to submit an application form to our non-domestic rates team. If they wish to be on the scheme from the start, I would encourage them to do this as soon as possible.”
Businesses may apply for the scheme at any point in the billing year, provided there is still at least 3.2% of the total bill outstanding at the time of application and that a final notice has not been issued.
Organisations should keep paying their original bill until they are notified that deferment arrangements are in place.
Any business which allows its 2012-13 rates bill to get to the final notice stage will automatically lose the right to take part in the scheme.
Businesses which do not want to defer payment need do nothing. They will receive their 2012-13 bill as normal.
Anyone with any queries should call Argyll and Bute Council’s non domestic rates team on 01586 555249, 01586 555220 or 01586 555254 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application form is on the council’s website at http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/business-rates-deferral-scheme.