Not-for-profit organisations rate relief

Not-for-profit organisations that aren't registered charities can sometimes get rate reliefs where they are making substantial use of a property for public benefit.

The types of organisations that can benefit from these reliefs include groups whose main objectives are charitable, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or fine arts. Sports and social clubs can also claim.

It's important to understand the potential risks if you're thinking about committing to a tenancy agreement expecting to get rates relief. The Charity Commission gives useful advice about the risks of entering into a tenancy agreement and applying for rate relief.

How much rate relief not-for-profit organisations can get

Some types of organisations can claim mandatory discounts, some can also apply for discretionary discounts, and some can get both mandatory and discretionary discounts.

Mandatory discounts are guaranteed for any organisation that counts for the discount. This includes sports clubs that are registered as a Community Amateur Sports club (CASC). Discretionary discounts aren't guaranteed. 

If you don't count for a mandatory discount as a not-for-profit organisation, you might be able to get small business relief.

Discounts for not-for-profit organisations

Discounts for non-profit making organisations
 Type of organisationMandatory discount Maximum discretionary discount Rates relief category
Community Amateur Sports Clubs with a bar and a rateable value above the Small Business Rate Relief threshold 80%   -  15
Community Amateur Sports Clubs with a bar and a rateable value below the Small Business Rate Relief threshold 80% 5% 16
Community Amateur Sports Clubs without a bar 80% 20% 17
Other sports and social clubs with a bar and a rateable value above the Small Business Rate Relief threshold  -  25%  23
Other sports and social clubs with a bar and a rateable value under the Small Business Rate Relief threshold see small business relief  Up to 50% of the bill less the amount of small business relief granted  24
Other sports and social clubs without a bar and with a rateable value above the Small Business Rate Relief threshold   -  25%  25
Other sports and social clubs without a bar and with a rateable value below the Small Business Rate Relief threshold see small business relief  Up to 100% less the amount of small business relief granted   26
Other non-registered charities with a rateable value above the Small Business Rate Relief threshold  -   25%  27
Other non-registered charities with a rateable value below the Small Business Rate Relief threshold see small business relief  Up to the 100% less the amount of small business relief granted   28
Social housing organisation premises (Registered Friendly Societies) 80%  -  22

How to apply for not-for-profit organisation rate relief

To apply for rate relief for a not-for-profit organisation, print out and return a rate relief application form (PDF, 223KB).

You'll need to also send your latest audited accounts plus a copy of your memorandum of association or a copy of your rules.

You must keep paying the rates shown on your bill while you wait to hear from us, unless we've agreed you don't have to.

Backdating claims for not-for-profit organisation rate relief

The rules about backdating depend on whether the relief is mandatory or discretionary.

Mandatory relief

The earliest date you can backdate claims for mandatory relief to is 1 April 2000. CASCs registered with HMRC after 1 April 2000 can backdate claims to the date they registered.

Discretionary relief

You can only apply for discretionary relief up to the 30th September following the 1 April - 31 March period the application relates to. This means you must apply for any relief for the rating year ending 31 March 2017 before 30 September 2017.

What happens next

We'll normally visit the property to make sure it's being used for a suitable purpose. If you're applying for any discretionary relief, we'll consider what we can give.

When we give discretionary relief, we are spending Council Tax payers'  money, so we need to be sure that giving the relief will benefit the community. We follow guidelines set down by councillors.

Once we've made our decision, we'll either send you a new bill or let you know why you can't get a discount.

We try to make decisions within 4 weeks of getting all the information, but it might take longer.

If you think we've made a mistake about a mandatory relief or you want to challenge a decision about a discretionary relief, you can appeal. 

Renewing not-for-profit organisation rate relief

Once not-for-profit organisation relief is added to your bill  you'll get it automatically the next year. 

Changes in circumstance for not-for-profit rate relief

You must tell us about any changes that mean the property no longer counts for not-for-profit organisation rate relief.

We do sometimes review reliefs. If you haven't told us about a change that means your property no longer counts, you'll have to pay the backdated business rates within 14 days.