Coronavirus (COVID-19) -
Information and advice.

Annual Billing 2020 FAQ's

Frequently asked questions for Non-Domestic Rates Annual Bills.

Q. Why is my annual bill only being issued now?

A. The COVID-19 situation affected businesses in different ways, especially where they had to close during lockdown. In addition, the Scottish Government introduced two new coronavirus reliefs and we took the decision to delay annual billing until the situation started to ease and our software was updated to allow us to apply the reliefs.

Q. Will I have longer to pay?

A. We have extended monthly payments onto 28 March 2021. Those paying in two instalments can now pay on 28 July 2020 and 28 January 2021. If you are having difficulty paying you can contact us and request a payment plan.

Q. Can I pay by direct debit?

A. Yes. Direct debit is a convenient way to pay and ensures that you do not miss an instalment. You can set up your direct debit online.

Q. I have already advised you of a change to my account, why does my annual bill not show this?

A. The information for the bills was extracted from our database on 20 June to allow for printing. Your new change of circumstances may not show if you reported it after 15 June 2020, but you will get a new bill shortly.

Email us on to report any change of circumstances if you haven't already. You will continue to be billed unless you advise us of any changes.

Q. What are the coronavirus reliefs?

A. Universal 1.6% Relief

All properties in Scotland are eligible for a 1.6% relief on their gross rates bill for 2020/21. This relief is automatically applied to all properties. You do not need to claim.

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation Relief

100% relief is available from 1.4.20 to 31.3.21 for properties in the retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation sectors

The property must be wholly or mainly used for purposes set out below:

  • Class 1 Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Class 2 Camping site
  • Class 3 Caravan
  • Class 4 Caravan site
  • Class 5 Chalet, holiday hut and bothy
  • Class 6 Guest house, hotel and hostel
  • Class 7 Public house/Nightclub
  • Class 8 Restaurant
  • Class 9 Self-catering holiday accommodation
  • Class 10 Timeshare accommodation
  • Class 11 Market
  • Class 12 Retail shop
  • Class 13 Leisure
  • Class 14 Service providers

Use to provide hair and beauty services, shoe repairs, key cutting, photo processing, laundry services, car or tool hire, car washing or repair of domestic electrical goods.

  • Class 15 Letting agency and funeral parlour
  • Class 16 Travel agency
  • Class 17 News Publishing

It does not apply to empty properties or to properties which were empty on 17 March 2020

This relief is automatically applied to properties our information shows as qualifying. If it does not appear on your bill and you believe you should qualify please email the rates section on and we will check it for you

Q. I think I may be entitled to an existing rates relief, how to I apply for this?

A. Information on business rates reliefs and application forms are available on our website, see our Business rates reductions and reliefs page for more information.

Q. I previously got small business bonus relief on my empty property why am I now being charged? 

A. From 1 April 2020 the Scottish Government legislation changed, and small business bonus relief can only be applied to occupied properties.

Q. I was unable to reoccupy or let my empty property during the coronavirus lockdown period am I entitled to a reduction? 

A. Where properties were already empty prior to 17 March 2020 they can claim the 100% prohibited by law relief for the period from 23 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Empty property application forms are available, see our Business rates reductions and reliefs page for more information.  Tick the option for occupation prohibited by law.

Q. My property was occupied before the coronavirus lockdown period can I claim empty property relief for the period I was unable to trade from it? 

A. Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government have taken legal advice on the use of the prohibited by law relief on empty properties affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

The advice is clear that, where the premises were in occupation prior to lockdown, they cannot be regarded as unoccupied or empty properties for the lockdown period. There is a clear difference between a property being unoccupied and one which is temporarily not in use.

If your premises were in occupation prior to lockdown you will not be entitled to empty property relief.

Q. Are there any other changes to the legislation from 1 April 2020? 

A. Empty properties

The period of occupation required between two claims for empty property relief has been increased from 6 weeks to 6 months.

Reverse Vending Machines

A new 100% relief has been introduced for reverse vending machines that take used drinking containers.

Q. The Scottish Government said they would cap non-domestic rates rises in the hospitality industry again in 2020/21 why doesn't this show on my bill? 

A. You must apply for the new scheme even if you previously received the reduction in 2019/20. Application forms are available online. Many of the businesses covered will be entitled to the retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation relief so check if that has been applied first.

Q. I want to dispute my entry in the Valuation Roll how do I do this? 

A.  Appeals against the entry in the Valuation Roll have to be made within certain time limits, usually 6 months from the date of your notification, but the Assessor may consider them out with this deadline in certain circumstances.

You can lodge an appeal online via the Scottish Assessors Association (SAA) Web Portal (

Appeals can also be made in writing or by e-mail to the Assessor, Council Offices, Buccleuch St, Dumfries, DG1 2AD. Email:

Q. I have lodged a rateable value appeal with the Assessor, do I still need to make payment of my business rates?

A. Yes, payment should be made in accordance with your most recent bill until you are advised otherwise.

Q. How can I find out the rateable value of other Non-Domestic Rates properties in Scotland?

A. The Scottish Assessors Association website shows rateable values for all non-domestic properties except those specifically excluded by law. You can search it at

Page last updated: 22/06/2020
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