Charities in occupation of a property are entitled to 80% mandatory relief from their rates bill, providing the property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. This leaves a liability of 20% of the charge, although relief up to the remaining 20% may be applied for under the discretionary scheme.
Registration with the Charities Commission under the Charities Act 1993 is conclusive evidence that an organisation is a charity. Certain bodies that, under the 1993 act, are excepted from registration, or are exempt charities, are also eligible for mandatory relief, as well as sporting organisations that are registered as Community Amateur Sport Clubs (CASCs). If the organisation is not a registered charity, you would have to include documentary evidence such as the memorandum and articles of association to show that its main objectives are charitable.
Relief will be at 80% of the rates charged and will continue from year to year, or until such time as the property ceases to be used for charitable purposes. Relief can also be afforded against any unoccupied property rates, providing that the ratepayer is a charity and it appears that, when next in use, the property will be wholly or mainly used for charity purposes.
Charity shops are deemed to be wholly or mainly being used for charitable purposes if they are wholly or mainly used for the sale of goods donated to a charity and the proceeds of the sale of the goods are applied for the purposes of the charity.
For further information, please contact Revenues: