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Commercial Rates

NEW- Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Grant Scheme

As part of Budget 2024, the Government signed off on a package of €257m for the Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Grant as a vital measure for small and medium businesses. Donegal County Council funded through Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), will manage the rollout of the grant to qualifying businesses. 

Eligible businesses will receive a once-off grant payment. The amount of the grant payable to eligible businesses is based on the value of the Commercial Rates bill the business received in 2023. However, it is not a Commercial Rates waiver and businesses should continue to pay their Commercial Rates bill as normal.

 

What is the purpose of the grant?

The grant is available to qualifying businesses as a contribution towards the rising costs faced by businesses. The grant is intended to aid businesses but is not intended to directly compensate for all increases in wages, or other costs, for every business.

 

How much is the grant?

The grant is based on the value of the Commercial Rates bill received by an eligible business in 2023.

- For qualifying businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rate bill of <€10,000, the ICOB grant will be paid at a rate of 50% of the business’s Commercial Rate bill for 2023.

- For qualifying businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rate bill of between €10,000 and €30,000, the ICOB grant will be €5,000.

- Businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rates bill greater than €30,000 are not eligible to receive an ICOB grant.

 

What businesses are eligible to receive the grant?

The following are the main qualifying criteria:

  • Your business must be a commercially trading business currently operating from a property that is commercially rateable.
  • Your business must have been trading on 1st February 2024 and you must intend to continue trading for at least three months from the date you verify your information.
  • You must provide confirmation of your bank details.
  • Your business must be rates compliant. Businesses in performing payment plans may be deemed to be compliant.
  • Your business must be tax compliant and must possess a valid Tax Registration Number (TRN).

Please note that Donegal County Council reserves the right to claw back any grant payment which is later found to be incorrect. This includes any circumstances such as error by the recipient business or the local authority making the payment, or where a business makes a false declaration of eligibility.

 

How can I apply for the grant?

You should by now have received a letter from Donegal County Council containing your Customer no & PIN. You must submit your application online before May 1st 2024 via ::MyCoCo::

It is expected that approved payments will be made from late April.

 

What is the closing date?

The closing date for businesses to confirm eligibility and to upload verification details will be 1st May 2024.

 

Where can I find out further information?

Please refer to the FAQ for information and guidance prior to making your submission.

If you have queries regarding your Commercial Rates account including outstanding balances, contact Donegal County Council at 074 9153900 or via email on [email protected] Our team are happy to discuss any balances outstanding on your rates and what steps can be taken to ensure compliance with the scheme.

 

1. What are Commercial Rates? 

2. Why do we pay Rates? 

3. Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme

4. How do I apply?

5. How can I pay my rates?

6. Small Business Grant for Early Payment

7. What happens if I don't pay my rates?

8. Revaluation 2023

9. Contact a staff member

10. Frequently asked questions 

11. Forms and Links

 

What are Commercial Rates?

Commercial rates are a property tax on commercial properties which have been valued by the Commissioner of Valuation.  A rate demand is issued to all rate payers at the beginning of each year. The collection of rates on commercial and industrial properties is essential in maintaining a full range of council services.

 

 

Why do we pay Rates?

Commercial Rates are the financial contribution business owners and occupiers make to the upkeep and quality of life of the local community.

Income received from commercial rates contributes to a huge range of services such as:

  • Provision of Housing Supports

  • Maintenance of housing stock

  • Winter maintenance (road gritting programme)

  • Public lighting

  • Road and  footpath maintenance

  • Street Cleaning

  • Roads and Footpath Upkeep

  • Tourism Development and Promotion

  • Heritage & conservation activities

  • Operation of the Fire Service

  • Operation of Civil Defence

  • Parks and Open Spaces

  • Playground maintenance and development

  • Contributions to Leisure Centres

  • Environmental Protection

  • Waste Regulations, monitoring and enforcement

  • Library Services

  • Heritage ,Tourism, Public Amenities and the Arts

 

 

Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme 

Are you considering opening a new commercial business in 2024? If you open for business in a property that has been vacant for at least two years, within a town or village in Donegal, you may be eligible to receive a grant towards your annual Commercial Rates bill, subject to certain conditions and eligibility criteria.

 

Full details of the scheme and eligibility criteria can be found within the Guidance Document below‌. 

Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme- Guidance Document

Scéim Dreasachta Rátaí Tráchtála - Treoracha

 

 

How do I apply?

To apply please download a copy of the application form below.

Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme-Application Form

Foirm Iarratais Scéim Dreasachta Rátaí Tráchtála

 

Once completed please return the application form plus accompanying documentation to:

Income Collection Unit

Donegal County Council
County House
Lifford
Co. Donegal

F93 Y622

 

Alternatively please email the completed form to [email protected]

Further queries can be directed to the Council on 074 9153900 or via email [email protected]

 

 

How can I pay my rates?

Due to a recent change in legislation Commercial Rates are now payable as a single charge in full from January 1st 2024 annually. It is important to note however that to facilitate our rate payers payments can be made by way of monthly instalments over the year. Please contact a member of our team via the details below for further information.

 

Payment can be made by a number of methods as follows:

  • Direct Debit (monthly instalments to spread the payments over a number of months).  Please download the Direct Debit Form, complete and return to the address on the form.

  • Standing Order (to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly).  This must be set up at your bank and you will need our bank account details which are given below.

  • Electronic Fund Transfer from your bank account.  Please quote your customer account number when making payments by this method.

  • Credit or Debit card by ringing 074 9153900 during office hours and quoting your customer account number.

  • By Set Off (Under Section 58 of the Local Government Act 1941) (A payment due to you from the Council can be offset against your rates bill).

  • In person at any of the Public Service Centres and our Buncrana office during office hours. (Mon-Fri – 9am–12:30pm and 1pm-4pm).

 

Our Bank Account Details

AIB - Sort Code: 93-73-04

IBAN No.  IE35 AIBK 937304 4000 9074

BIC No.     AIBK IE 2D

 

Please quote your customer number when making payment by Electronic Fund Transfer. This is a six-digit number beginning with the digit 4

 

 

Small Business Grant for Early Payment

The Scheme gives a grant of up to 7.5% of the annual rates demand (excluding arrears), subject to a maximum annual grant of €375 and subject to certain terms and conditions being met.   The grant is applied as a credit at the end of the year.  To qualify for the Small Business Grant, the following main terms and conditions apply:

  • All rates is respect of the current year must be paid in full and there must be no arrears on the account by the deadline of 30th November 2024.

  • The grant is applied to the rate account at the end of the financial year which will result on a credit on the customer account.

 

 

What happens if I don’t pay my rates?

  • Donegal County Council are obliged by law to levy and collect Commercial Rates. Unpaid rates have a serious effect on our ability to deliver essential services. Legal enforcement will be pursued where necessary.

  • However, the Council very much aware of the difficulties facing businesses and in every way tries to encourage and support industry and commerce. We would urge any business that may have queries regarding their account to contact the relevant staff member whose name and contact number is on the bottom of their rate demand or by using the details listed below.

  • Interest charges will now fall due on any unpaid rates balances at year end. This will be effective from January 2025.

 

 

Revaluation 2023

On 2nd September 2022, the Commissioner of Valuation, with the consent of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, revoked existing Valuation Orders for the revaluation of commercial and industrial properties in Clare, Donegal, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Galway, Kerry and Mayo County Council and Galway City Council Rating Authority areas.

 

Following the completion of a statutory consultation process between the Commissioner of Valuation, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the relevant Local Authorities, the Commissioner has made new valuation orders for these rating authority areas.

 

National Revaluation Programme Leaflet (English)

National Revaluation Programme Leaflet (Irish)

 

Click here to view a copy of the valuation orders.

 

Revaluation 2023 Proposed Valuation Certificates 

 

Tailte Éireann (formerly known as The Valuation Office) issued Final Valuation Certificates from 15th September 2023 to Ratepayers in Donegal. 

 

Please be aware that the Proposed Valuation (Net Annual Value) on the Proposed Valuation Certificate you have received is not your rates liability.

 

The commercial rates payable in any year is calculated by multiplying the valuation of the property which is set by the Tailte Éireann, by the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) which was set Donegal County Council at their annual budget meeting on December 6th 2023. The rate is 0.232 which is unchanged from the indicative rate advised on your Proposed Valuation Certificate.

 

Click here to use the online Rates Estimate calculator provided by Tailte Éireann: https://www.valoff.ie/en/revaluation/rates-calculator/

  

Further Ratepayer support in relation to ‘Reval 2023’  is available at:

 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 01 584 6753

Website: www.valoff.ie

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

The Valuation Office has a useful list of Frequently asked questions.

  

Contact a Staff Member

If you wish to enter into a payment plan, have difficulty in making payments or have any queries in relation to your rate account, please contact our staff who will be happy to assist you.

 

Donegal Municipal District

Ann Crawford  (087-7623095)  [email protected]

 

Glenties Municipal District

Miriam Bonar  (087-3662219)   [email protected]

 

Letterkenny Municipal District

Lorraine Bonner   (087-2041529)   [email protected]

Mairead Shields   (087-6222084)   [email protected]

Breda McGonigle   (087-7644749)   [email protected] 

 

Stranorlar Municipal District   

Breda McGonigle   (087-7644749)   [email protected]

Bernadine McGee   (087-6925349)   [email protected]

 

Inishowen Municipal District                                    

Paula McCann   (087-0574596)   [email protected]

Marie Deeney   (087-3172688)   [email protected]

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are Commercial Rates?

Commercial rates are a property tax on commercial properties. Rates are payable on commercial properties which have been valued by the Commissioner of Valuations.  A rate demand is issued to all rate payers at the beginning of each year.

 

What is a Property Entry Levy (PEL) invoice?

If a valuation of a new property is carried out during the year, you may receive a Property Entry Levy (PEL) demand instead of a rates demand.  In the following year, you will receive your rate demand.  

 

How is my Commercial Rates bill calculated?

Your rates are calculated by multiplying the annual rate on valuation by what is known as the rateable valuation on your property.  The rateable valuation of your property is determined by the Valuation Office and this information is provided on your rate bill. 

 

Your rates can be calculated by reference to this simple example:

Valuation of property:                             €25,000

Annual Rate on Valuation (2024):            €0.232

Rates payable:                                      €5,800

 

What if I cease occupying a property or I sell the property?

Section 11 of the Local Government Rates & Other Matters Act 2019 imposes a duty on property owners (or their agents) and on occupiers to inform the Council of any change in their status as the liable person for payment of rates within 10 working days of any such change. Notification is necessary in circumstances where you were liable to pay rates at a property but no longer are OR if you have now become liable for payment of rates at a property.

Under Section 13 of the Act, owners of a commercial property must notify the council when the property is being sold within 10 working days of the sale.  They must pay any rates for which they are liable in respect of that property for the period up to and including the day immediately before the sale.

A change of owner/ occupier form should be completed and returned to the Council in relation to any changes within 10 working days.  Any liable persons who do not fulfil their obligations under Sections 11 and 13 of the Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019, shall be liable for a Class A Fine. In the case of Section 13 they may also may be liable for imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

This legal obligation came into effect on 1st January 2024.The full text of the Local Government Rates and other Matters Act 2019 can be accessed at https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/ 

The change of Owner / Occupier Form for completion regarding Sections 11 and 13 of the Act is available here. For further information your relevant staff member (details above) or email [email protected]

 

Do I still pay rates if my property is vacant?

If a property is not occupied and available for lease or rent, you must send the Council photographs of the property (internal and external) as evidence that the property is unoccupied and vacant.   Evidence that the property is available for lease must be provided in the form of an advert in a newspaper, a letter from an estate agent or a photograph of the property showing a for lease/rent sign on the property. 

 

Do I pay rates if my property is under renovations/closed for repairs?

If a property is under renovations or closed for repairs, you should contact us in order that we can carry out an inspection.  Rates are not payable for the period that the property is under renovations, subject to verification that this is the case. 

 

What happens if there is a structural change to my property? 

A revision of the valuation on a property can only be sought in the event of a material change having taken place since the last valuation.  This can be as a result of renovation/extension works or whenever the property has reverted to domestic or agricultural use. An application form to seek a revision is available from here and should be returned to the Commissioner of Valuations, Valuation Office, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1 with the appropriate fee.

 

 

Forms and Links

www.valoff.ie (The Valuation Office carry out valuations on commercial properties)

www.localenterprise.ie/donegal (The Donegal Local Enterprise Office offers a range of services to businesses in Donegal).

Direct Debit Form (please complete and return to Donegal County Council).

Request for a revaluation due to a material change – please download an Application Form‌ 

Section 11 Form – to notify Donegal County Council when you cease to occupy a property or you sell the property.

Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme - Guidance Document

Scéim Dreasachta Rátaí Tráchtála - Treoracha

Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme - Application Form

Foirm Iarratais Scéim Dreasachta Rátaí Tráchtála

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