Relief for non-profit and charity organisations
Mandatory relief for registered charities
Where an organisation is a registered charity and the property occupied by the organisation is used "wholly or mainly for charitable purposes", there may be an entitlement to 80% mandatory rates relief. It is not sufficient that a property is owned by a charity - the council must determine whether a property is being used "wholly or mainly for charitable purposes". Charity shops must be able to demonstrate that they are used wholly or mainly for the sale of donated goods.
Discretionary rates relief - Non-profit making organisations
Councils have discretionary powers to grant up to 100% rate relief to non-profit making organisations, whether they are registered charities or not. To qualify, an organisation must either be charitable, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts, or the property must be used by a non-profit-making organisation and used wholly or mainly for the purpose of recreation (sport). Recreational or sporting organisations licensed to sell alcohol may also apply for relief, although the amount of relief awarded will reduce proportionally with respect to bar turnover and catering sales.
At a meeting of the Council's Leadership Panel of 24 September 2008, members approved a change to the Council's Discretionary rates relief policy. This was necessary because of the legal obligations imposed on local authorities through the Equality Act 2006. It was also considered appropriate that any revised policy should accord with the Council's Gender Equality Scheme.
The council requires that organisations and clubs demonstrate, through the inclusion of an equity statement within their constitution and rules, a strong commitment to equal opportunities for all sectors of the community, ensuring that all participants, volunteers coaches or parents receive equal treatment regardless of age, gender, marital status, employment status, social class, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, religious belief or disability.
Sports clubs registered as community amateur sports clubs (CASCs)
Sports Clubs registered with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service (HMRC) as CASCs are entitled to 80% mandatory rates relief. Clubs wishing to apply for this relief should provide the council with a copy of their registration certificate. Providing that this confirms the registration commencement date, no further application is required. In the event that a club thinks it may be entitled to relief greater than 80% under the discretionary relief scheme, the appropriate discretionary application form should be completed.