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Rates Waiver

Rates Waiver Scheme for 2021

COVID 19 Waiver of Commercial Rates 2021

The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage recently issued details of the Commercial Rates Waiver to be applied for the first quarter of 2021. In recognition of the impact that COVID19 is having on businesses a further commercial rates waiver will apply to specified businesses in the first quarter of 2021. This three-month waiver has modified criteria and accordingly is a separate standalone waiver scheme from the scheme that applied in 2020.

The waiver will take the form of a credit in lieu of rates and the value is the equivalent of 25% of the annual rate bill for 2021.

The three-month waiver will apply to all eligible businesses closed by or badly impacted by Level 5 restrictions.

An application to Westmeath County Council is not required. Westmeath County Council will automatically apply a 100% credit in lieu of commercial rates, for a three-month period, to classes and categories of occupied rateable properties where the occupying business is not in an excluded category identified below. The full list of categories and uses of commercial rate properties that are deemed eligible for the Waiver is available here:

Valuation Categories and Uses which are automatically eligible for the Quarter 1 2021 - Three-month Commercial Rates Waiver (Appendix C)

Excluded categories

In recognition that there are ratepayers whose businesses have not been affected by the pandemic, these ratepayers will not be eligible for the automatic waiver. However, a fund is being provided for ratepayers in these categories who can demonstrate that the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on their business. These ratepayers should engage with Westmeath County Council in relation to their commercial rates.

This credit does not apply to the following Excluded Categories:

  • Public Service
  • Vacant Properties (all vacant property as is ordinarily understood for rates is excluded from the waiver)
  • Global Utility Networks on the Central Valuation List
  • Properties in the "Office" Valuation Category
  • Properties in the "Industrial Uses" Valuation Category
  • Properties in the "Miscellaneous" Valuation Category
  • Properties in the "Minerals" Valuation Category
  • Properties in the "Utility" Valuation Category
  • Supermarkets greater than 500M2 (Categories Supermarket 2 and Supermarket 3)
  • Properties with the valuation category of "Department Store" but which are occupied either partially or wholly by a supermarket which sells food and/or groceries.
  • Banks, Building Societies and Credit Unions
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing

The full list of Excluded Categories and Uses is available to review here:

Valuation Categories and uses that are excluded from the Quarter 1 2021 - Three-month Commercial Rates Waiver (Appendix D)

Businesses in the excluded categories above, save public service properties and vacant properties, may seek eligibility from Westmeath County Council if it can be shown that the business was severely impacted by the pandemic. The Council may request documentary evidence to support eligibility. In this circumstance, please apply to rates@westmeathcoco.ieon or before Friday 12 March 2021.

Additional information on the Rate Waiver Scheme 2021 is available by clicking on the link to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions Rates Waiver Quarter 1 2021 (FAQ’s)

Should you have any queries in relation to the Rates Waiver 2021 please contact the Rates Team by e-mail at: rates@westmeathcoco.ie or by telephone on 044 93 38959