Mandatory Charity Relief – England
Charities, charity trustees and community amateur sports clubs can be eligible for up to 80% business rates relief if they can demonstrate the following :
- The charity is established for charitable purposes.
- The property is used ‘wholly or mainly’ for charitable purposes. There is some ambiguity surrounding what ‘wholly or mainly’ means and can vary from council to council but case law suggests that it means more than half.
A company does not need to be a registered charity to claim the relief, but the company must be able to show that they are established for charitable purposes.
In relation to charity shops, relief can be granted where the majority of goods are donated but if the charity shop is selling only new goods no relief can be granted.
An application must be made to the local council where the property is located in order to obtain the relief and you may be required to submit financial information to prove the charitable status of the company. If there are properties across multiple locations then a separate application is needed to each council for each property.
Discretionary Charity Relief – England
Unoccupied Properties Owned by Charities – England
Charities can be re exempt from empty rates where the unoccupied property, when reoccupied, will be used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. There is no requirement that when the property is next in use it has be occupied by the current charity or a different charity in order to be eligible for exemption from empty rates.