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Charities are entitled to 80% relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. This can include offices used for the charity's administration.

To qualify for Charitable Rate Relief, the occupier will normally have to be registered as a Charity with the Charity Commission.

Some organisations that are exempt from registration may also qualify, for example:

1. Boy Scout and Girl Guide Groups
2. Voluntary aided schools
3. Societies registered under the Friendly Societies Act
4. Church Commissioners.

Some organisations that are not registered charities, but which have been established for charitable purposes may qualify. In these cases we will decide whether or not the organisation can be regarded as a charity.

Shops used for fundraising will qualify if the majority of goods sold are donated goods, and the proceeds of the sale are used only for the purposes of the charity.

We also have the discretionary power to grant up to a further 20% relief, which would reduce the demand notice to zero.

From the 1st April 2008, no rates are payable on an empty property that is held by a charity if it appears that when the property is next in use, it will be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities).

An application form for Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief for Charities and kindred organisations is available below:

Charitable mandatory discretionary relief application form (PDF Document, 0.35 Mb)

To enquire about any aspect of Business Rates, please contact the Business Rates Team on 01455 255668.

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