Charities and not-for-profit organisations can get up to a 100 per cent reduction in their business rates.

Mandatory rate relief for charities

Relief available

Organisations that are recognised as charities for UK tax purposes can claim 80 per cent relief from the business rates if:

  • The charity (or trustees of the charity) is the rate payer, and
  • The charity uses the property wholly, or mainly, for charitable purposes

If the property is unoccupied, the intention must be to use it for charitable purposes.

For charity shops, the charity must use the property wholly or mainly to sell goods donated to it.  It must also use the net proceeds for the purposes of the charity.

About charities

A charity is an organisation established for charitable purposes. To have charitable status usually means that you are included in the Charity Commissioner's register of charities. There are some charities that do not need to register; these are known as 'excepted charities' and include organisations such as:

  • The Church Commissioners
  • Some Scout Association and Guide Association units
  • Voluntary schools

If you are not in the register of charities or an 'excepted charity', we can still treat you as a charity if you have a letter from HM Revenue and Customs stating that, for tax purposes, you are treated as a charity.

Mandatory rate relief for community amateur sports clubs

We treat sports clubs, which have registered for community amateur sports club (CASC) status with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, in a similar way to registered charities and will give them 80 per cent mandatory relief if:

  • The club is the rate payer, and
  • The club uses the property wholly, or mainly, for purposes of the club or other registered clubs

If the property is unoccupied, the intention must be to use it for the club or other registered clubs.

View more information about Community amateur sports clubs.

Discretionary rate relief

Any organisation that qualifies for 80 per cent mandatory rate relief may also apply for discretionary relief for all or part of the remaining 20 per cent of its bill.

If an organisation is not a charity, but has been set up for religious, social welfare, artistic, educational or recreational purposes, and is not run to make a profit, we can grant up to 100 per cent discretionary rate relief as shown in our discretionary rate relief policy.

Our Portfolio Holder considers each application on its own merits, based on the information you provide and any other relevant information that may be available.

We try to support every organisation that meets the application conditions. However, the level of our available resources will influence the amount of relief we can offer.

Apply for mandatory rate relief for charities and community amateur sports clubs

To apply for 80 per cent mandatory rate relief as a registered charity or community amateur sports club, then please contact the business rates team with your charity registration number, or send us a copy of the letter from HM Revenue and Customs stating you are treated as a charity for tax purposes.

Apply for discretionary rate relief

Download and fill in our business rates discretionary rate relief application form.

Please note that you must include a copy of your constitution and two years of audited accounts with your application.

Contact us

Business rates - billing, collection and recovery

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