Information on subsidy control and how this may affect the amount of relief you may be entitled to
The Subsidy Control Act 2022 is applicable from 4 January 2023.
All public authorities, must have regard to the Act as well as commitments set out in other international trade agreements.
Business Rates reliefs, like other subsidy or support measures, may be subject to the conditions set out in these international agreements.
Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) Threshold
MFA allows public authorities to award low value subsidies without needing to comply with the majority of the subsidy control requirements. MFA has a financial threshold which allows recipients to receive up to £315,000 over three financial years (the current financial year and the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year).
Awarding a subsidy under MFA
Public authorities awarding subsidies as MFA must comply with certain procedural requirements.
Before awarding an MFA subsidy, the public authority should provide the intended recipient enterprise with an 'MFA notification' which is a written statement:
- explaining that the public authority is proposing to give to the enterprise a subsidy by way of MFA,
- specifying the gross value amount of the assistance, and
- requesting written confirmation from the enterprise that the MFA threshold specified will not be exceeded by the enterprise receiving the proposed assistance.
The subsidy can only be awarded when written confirmation has been received.
If the enterprise confirms it will exceed the threshold, it can still receive part of the subsidy up to the MFA threshold. Any remaining balance will be subject to the full subsidy control requirements associated with providing a subsidy.
When awarding an MFA subsidy, the public authority must give the intended beneficiary an 'MFA confirmation' which is a written statement that confirms:
- that the subsidy is given as MFA,
- the date on which it is given, and
- the gross value amount of the assistance.
The transparency rules set out in the Act require public authorities to upload details of both subsidy schemes and awards to the UK Governments Subsidy Database. Transparency obligations apply regardless of any information that a beneficiary believes is commercially sensitive.
All subsidy awards which exceed £100,000 are required to be uploaded to the database.