In March 2009, the Government announced that businesses could spread payment of the April 2009 inflation up-rating to business rates over three years, helping ratepayers for an estimated 1.8 million properties in Britain. The Government also temporarily increased the threshold at which empty properties are liable for business rates to £15,000, exempting an estimated 70% of empty properties. On 18 September 2009, the Government removed the requirement for businesses receiving small business rate relief to reapply for relief at revaluation.
The Government is maintaining for a further year the temporary increase in the threshold at which an empty property becomes liable for business rates. For the financial year 2010/11, empty properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000 will be exempt from business rates. This higher threshold reflects the effects of business rates revaluation and is still expected to apply to 70% of empty properties.