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Commercial Rates


Targeted commercial rates waiver scheme final quarter 2021


What are Commercial Rates?


Why do we pay Rates?


How can I pay my rates?


Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme

Small Business Grant for Early Payment


Revaluation 2022


Contact a staff member


Frequently asked questions


Forms and Links





Targeted commercial rates waiver scheme final quarter 2021


The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage have announced a new targeted standalone commercial rates waiver scheme for Q4 2021.


It is important to note that this final 3 month waiver has modified criteria and targets a narrower range of business sectors, and is a seperate standalone waiver scheme. The broad categories of eligible business categories to whom the credit in lieu of rates for Q4 are:

  • Hospitality including restaurants and cafes;
  • Leisure;
  • Miscellaneous entertainment;
  • Certain tourism related categories and;
  • Airports.


The waiver will not apply to vacant properties.


Further information and a list of eligible business categories can be found within APPENDIX B FIN 20/2021.


How to apply


An application to Donegal County Council is not required. Donegal County Council will automatically apply a 100% credit in lieu of commercial rates, for this three month period to rated properties which fall within the eligible list.


Should you have any further queries in relation to the Rates Waiver for Q4 2021 please contact your local collector or email See contact details below.


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 2021? 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.


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
Co. Donegal

F93 Y622


Alternatively please email the completed form to

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



How can I pay my rates?

Rates are due in 2 moieties/halves each year. The first moiety is due upon receipt of the first demand sent early in the year and the second moiety is due on 1st July 2021. It is important to note however that to facilitate our rate payers payments can be made by way of monthly instalments over the year.


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-Thurs – 9.00am – 4.30pm. Fri – 9am – 4.00pm – Lunch 12.30pm – 1.00pm).


Our bank account details

Ulster Bank - Sort Code: 98-60-10

IBAN No.  IE48 ULSB 9860 1015 990110

BIC No.     ULSB IE 2D



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.

  • For 2021, the deadline for full payment of rates has now been extended to 30th November 2021– this includes customers paying by monthly direct debits and standing orders.

  • 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.



Where can I get further information on Revaluation 2022?

Due to COVID-19 The Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage agreed with The Commissioner of Valuation  that the Commissioner will defer the Revaluation of Rateable Properties in the rating authority areas of Donegal, Clare, Galway, Kerry and Mayo County Councils until 2022.


All rates customers should now have received notification from the Valuation Office in this regard.  All enquiries and further information can be obtained from the Valuation Office on their website, or by phoning 01 817 1033, or LoCall 1890 531 431 or emailing

Further information can be found here

See attached Order on Revaluation 2022‌.



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)  -

Mairead Devine  - (087 3485765) -


Glenties Municipal District

Miriam Bonner  -   (087 3662219)  -


Letterkenny Municipal District

Lorraine Bonner  -  (087 2041529)  -

Mairead Shields   -  (087 6222084)  -


Stranorlar Municipal District   

Geraldine McElwee - (087 7644749) -

Christina O'Donnell - (087 9192272) -


Inishowen Municipal District                                    

Paula McCann  -   (087 0574596)  -

Marie Deeney  -  (087 3172688)  -



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:                             €100.00

Annual Rate on Valuation (2020):            €71.81

Rates payable:                                      €7,181.00 (or €100 x €71.81)

* Note for properties in the former Buncrana Town Council area the Annual Rate on Valuation is €58.29


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

Under Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act, there is a legal obligation on a property owner, or their agent, to notify Donegal County Council where an interest in a rateable property is transferred or sold.  The person transferring the property, either the owner or occupier, must pay all rates that are due at the time of the transfer/sale.  If you fail to notify Donegal County Council of a change in interest within 14 days of the transfer date, this may result in a penalty for non-compliance in that, the owner becomes liable for an amount which is equivalent to the level of outstanding rates (up to a maximum of 2 years liability). 


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 (The Valuation Office carry out valuations on commercial properties) (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 Application Form‌ and ‌.

Section 32 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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