COVID -19 Waiver of Commercial Rates
Clare County Council is acutely aware of the severe challenges facing business as we experience the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19.
A three month waiver will apply to eligible businesses and will take the form of a credit in lieu of rates. The value of the waiver is the equivalent value of 25% of the annual rate bill for 2021 and this is in recognition of the impact of the ongoing trajectory of COVID 19, a further waiver of commercial rates will apply to specified businesses in the first quarter of 2021.
A number of categories of businesses have been exempted
The waiver 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, without exception);*
- 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; and
- Premises contracted to provide services related to the COVID 19 pandemic to/on behalf of the State, where the State is already compensating for rates as part of the contract between the occupier or service provider and the State.
Clare County Council will be automatically applying this credit to commercial rates accounts and will issue correspondence confirming this.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions in relation to this waiver.
Any commercial rate payers that have concerns should contact their account manager and discussions can be had on a case by case basis.
Clare County Council will continue to support all commercial rate customers during this difficult time.
Commercial rates are a local property tax on commercial premises. We use the income generated through commercial rates to provide a wide range of general services within County Clare.
Commercial rates are a local property tax on commercial premises. Approximately 40% of Clare County Council’s annual revenue expenditure is raised through commercial rates. Rates are the financial contribution business owners and occupiers make to the upkeep and quality of life of the local community. Income generated through commercial rates is used for the provision of a wide range of general services within County Clare such as:
street cleaning, public lighting, roads & footpath upkeep, fire services, parks & open spaces, environmental protection, libraries, heritage, tourism, public amenities & the arts and community support initiatives.
The Rates unit is responsible for the management and collection of commercial rates payable by businesses in County Clare.
The rateable valuation of a property is determined by the commissioner of valuation. This rateable valuation is then used by the local authority to determine the commercial rates payable by each ratepayer. The most recent legislation governing this area is the Valuation Act 2001. This act was designed to simplify, modernise and make the valuation system easier to understand.
The valuation office is an independent state body. Should you wish to seek further information about the rateable valuation of your property or wish to apply for a revision of valuation, details and contact numbers are available on their website www.valoff.ie.
Following the consideration of the annual budget each year, the elected members determine the Annual Rate of Valuation (ARV) for the following year. The ARV is the product obtained when the total shortfall in Council income is divided by the cumulative total of all valuations of rateable premises in the County. The shortfall between the cost of providing all services and Local Authority generated income is recouped annually through the collection of Rates. The Annual Rate of Valuation for 2020 for County Clare is €72.99.
The date of making the rate for 2020 was 17th January 2020. Public notice is given of the making of the rate.
How are rates calculated?
Rates are calculated by multiplying the valuation on the Commercial property, as determined by the Commissioner of Valuation by the Annual Rate of Valuation, as determined by the County Council.
Example of calculation of rates payable on a property:
- RV (Rateable Valuation of Property) €100.00
- Annual Rate on Valuation for 2019 = €72.99
- Rates due for the year = €100 x 72.99 = €7,299.00
Rates are payable in two halves (moieties) in a calendar year, the first on issue of the demand (usually late February or early March), with the second moiety due on July 1st. Where a customer wishes to put in place an alternative acceptable payment plan, you should contact your Account Manager for your area
Where the Account Manager is unable to obtain payment, legal proceedings may be taken to recover the outstanding amount with any legal costs being payable by the person prosecuted.
Following a court hearing, an instalment order may be sought, or a judgment mortgage may be obtained and registered against the property. The sheriff also has the power to seize goods to cover the value of the amount outstanding.
The local authority can offset any monies due to a ratepayer against rates due to the local authority as per Section 7 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1983.
You can pay commercial rates by the following methods:
Direct Debits assist customers in planning their cash flow and are a low cost method of payment.
By paying your commercial rates by direct debit, monies will be deducted on the 10th day of each month.
Please note that it takes 14 days to set up a direct debit.
Please see below for the Direct Debit Form. Direct Debit forms can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Central cash office
Payment can be made at the central cash office, which is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and is located at Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare. You can contact the cash office by phone at (065) 6846208.
Municipal District/Area Offices
You can pay at any of the following offices:
- Ennistymon Office, Ennis Road, Ennistymon – (065) 7071017
- Kilrush Office, Town Hall, The Square, Kilrush - (065) 9051047
- Scariff Office, Mountshannon Road, Scariff – (061) 640815
- Shannon Office, Town Hall, Shannon – (061) 362319
Laser or credit card
You can pay by laser or credit card. Contact the central cash office by phone on (065) 6846208 and provide your account number and details about what the payment is for.
You can pay by standing order. You need to complete a standing order form [PDF, 371KB]. Contact the Rates Department by phone on (065) 6846208 before you complete this form.
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
The following are the bank details for making payments. You should use the commercial rate account number as the reference.
- Account Name: Clare County Council
- Bank: A.I.B., Bank Place, Ennis, Co. Clare
- Sort Code: 93 53 87
- Account Number: 29632048
- IBAN:IE32AIBK93 53 8729632048
In cases where a property is vacant, at the making of the rate, the liability lies with the person entitled to occupy the property at the making of the rate (the leaseholder or if there is no lease - the owner). However, a vacant property may qualify for exemption from rates if the following conditions are met at the making of the rate:
- The bonafide inability of the landlord to obtain a suitable tenant at a reasonable rent
- The execution of repairs/alterations
- Vacant due to demolition or redevelopment
The date of the making of the rate, for 2020, was 17th January 2020.
Should your business meet the above criteria, application form to apply for a vacancy credit is downloadable below:
If Rates are paid on a property which was vacant on the date the rate was made, a refund can be sought, for the period of the vacancy, as set out in Section 14 of the Local Government Act, 1946. The form is downloadable here:
Owners of a rateable property are required to notify the local authority where there is a change in ownership, change in tenancy or where a tenant vacates a property, as per Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014. Notification must be given within 14 days by completing the form below. Where an owner is selling the property, it is their duty to discharge all rates for which he/she is liable at the date of transfer of the property.
The Long Term Rates Incentive Scheme Grant seeks to encourage businesses to occupy long term vacant commercial premises that have been previously occupied for commercial rates purposes. The purpose of the scheme is to give an incentive to business owners to occupy vacant premises by lowering entry costs through support and a grant related to the level of rates payable on the property. The scheme applies to all rated commercial properties in the county that have been previously occupied for commercial rates purposes.
Details of the scheme can be downloaded below:
The SME 10% Support Scheme is available to all Small and Medium enterprise business with a commercial rates liability up to €10,000. This scheme provides for a 10% credit against the subsequent year commercial rates liability where the customer discharges their rates invoice by direct debit within the year.
We recognise that business require additional supports in the current economic climate. The Small and Medium Enterprise 10% support scheme will provide this support in 2021.
The SME 10% Support Scheme will be available to all Small and Medium enterprise business in County Clare with a commercial rates liability up to €10,000. This proposed grant will provide for a 10% credit against the subsequent year commercial rates liability where the customer discharges their rates invoice by direct debit within the year.
Terms of the Scheme
- Ratepayers must ensure that all rates payable on the occupied property, including any arrears from previous years, have been discharged by the 31st December 2021.
- In order to qualify for this scheme, ratepayers must sign up to Direct Debit payment method.
- There is not a requirement for account holders to apply for the scheme – the credit will automatically be applied to the account if all the correct criteria are met.
- This credit will be off set against the rates liability arising for that occupier on that property in the subsequent year.
- Vacant Properties do not qualify under this scheme.
- Commercial rates liabilities in excess of €10,000 per LAID.
Page last reviewed: 11/02/21Back to top
Áras Contae an Chláir