100% Rate Relief For All Small Charities / CASCs

Charities should not have to subsidise business rate relief

Here’s the final of our three bite-sized blogs about the Charity Tax Commission’s call for evidence to chew over: Business Rates.


All Councils are meant to have information about the additional 20% Discretionary Relief on their websites. Most do but some don’t and others make it very hard to find - we know because we've visited all 420 of them and created a database that can be searched by charities, Community Amateur Sports Clubs and not-for-profits looking for the specific information/forms. 


Even when they find the appropriate information, not all small charities and CASCs are being treated equally. There are geographic areas in which it seems that Discretionary Relief for charities is being cut back, possibly to pay for the increased cost of providing Small Business Rate Relief and Hardship Relief.  This has resulted in some charities having to pay 20% of their Business Rates whereas - if they were a business of a similar size operating from the same premises - they would automatically get 100% relief. In fact, a small business could have a site with a rateable value four times as high as some charities and would still not be liable for any Business Rates.


In ‘National non-domestic rates collected by local authorities: England 2016-17’ published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Small Business Rate Relief increased by £42 million and total relief to charitable occupations was up £59 million. However, the 6,200 clubs registered as CASCs only receive £1m in Discretionary Relief between them - out of a total of £143 million. That’s an average of just £161 each.


The recommendation here is that small charities and CASCs should automatically be granted mandatory 100% relief - without having to jump through hoops to apply for it. Certainly this should be the case for any organisations with rateable values below the SBBR threshold of £12,000 but arguably for much higher values if the organisation is providing a valued service or facility used by communities within the Council’s catchment area.


Read our full response to the Charity Tax Commission.

Cross icon for closing menu