Coronavirus (Covid-19) and delay in rate bills

Due to coronavirus, rate bills will be issued in June 2020 instead of April 2020 when people usually get their rates bills. This is to help avoid placing financial pressure on ratepayers.

LPS offices and phone lines will be closed until Wednesday 15 April. The closure will be kept under regular review.  Further information is available on the Department of Finance website.
For questions about the Small Business Grant Scheme only call 0300 200 7809 or visit the NI Business Info site.  
For urgent questions about anything else,  email rating@lpsni.gov.uk (for queries about your rate bill), valuation@lpsni.gov.uk (for property valuation queries), CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk (for land registry queries) or Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk (for mapping queries).

 Payment plans

When rate bills issue in June 2020, ratepayers can still choose to pay their bill in monthly instalments between June 2020 and March 2021. Monthly Direct Debit payment plans will be automatically updated to collect payments between June 2020 and March 2021.

2020-21 rate bills

When rates bill issue in June 2020, the bill will assess rates due from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021. There is no rate holiday for domestic customers.

Four per cent early payment discount will continue to be available to domestic ratepayers, and the discount date will be clearly shown on the rate bill.

It is not yet possible to estimate rate bills for 2020-21. This is because the regional rate for 2020-21 has not been set by the Executive. The regional rate for 2020-21 will be announced as part of the NI Budget package on 30 March 2020.

Recovery action on debt and arrears

No new recovery action for either domestic or non-domestic debt will be initiated until the current crisis has passed.

Existing recovery actions will not be cancelled, but activity will be suspended and ratepayers will not be actively pursued until the current crisis has passed.

Help with rates

There are a wide range of rate support schemes in place to help people pay their rates. Over 25 per cent of households in Northern Ireland get some kind of support, with the majority of these paying no rates at all.

These schemes include:

  • Housing Benefit for rates, which is for people on not eligible to apply for Universal Credit, such as those receiving a Severe Disability Premium, living in supported accommodation or have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit
  • Low Income Rate Relief, which supplements Housing Benefit
  • the Rate Rebate Scheme for those on Universal Credit.  People who unfortunately find themselves out of work or whose income drops because of the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for this scheme. 
  • Lone Pensioner Allowance
  • Disabled Person’s Allowance
  • Help with rates

The Make the Call service can also provide comprehensive advice on the benefits, reliefs and supports that are available in Northern Ireland.

They can be contacted on freephone 0800 232 1271 or at this link:

 

 

 

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If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

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Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
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For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

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