Business rates—charities and not-for-profit organisations
Business rates—charities and not-for-profit organisations

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Business rates—charities and not-for-profit organisations
  • Discretionary relief
  • Mitigation and risks

Discretionary relief

Under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (LGFA 1988), charities occupying commercial property qualify for a mandatory 80% discount on business rates, provided the property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. Local authorities (LAs) also have the discretion to grant the remaining 20% as a further discount.

This can be relevant:

  1. where the ratepayer is a charity and the property is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes

  2. where the property is occupied by one or more organisations none of which is established or conducted for profit and each of whose main objects are charitable or otherwise philanthropic, or religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts

  3. where the property is used wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation and all or part of it is accepted for the purpose of a club, society or other organisation not established exclusively for profit

Section 69 of the Localism Act 2011 (LA 2011), replaces the limited circumstances in which LAs can currently give discretionary relief with a power to grant relief in any circumstances. LA 2011, s 69 is in force in Wales. It is currently only in force in England so far as necessary to enable a billing authority to make decisions and determinations prior to 1 April 2012,