A recent research paper from the Scottish Parliament made interesting and positive reading on the extent and value to the charities and third sector of relief from non-domestic rates.

‎Relief for charities amounted to £173.6m in 2013-14. This was the single largest non-domestic rates relief, equal to 29.4% of total non-domestic rates relief. On top of that Sports Club relief amounted to £12.9m– this applies to Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) which we have discussed before.

What is non-domestic rates relief for charities?

If the property occupied by a registered charity (for these purposes registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as opposed to HMRC) is used “wholly or mainly for charitable purposes” there should be entitlement to an 80% mandatory rate relief with the local authority having discretion to apply 100% relief.

What if our organisation is not registered with OSCR?

Local authorities do also have discretion to award rates relief to not-for-profit organisations which are not registered with OSCR but the property in question is occupied by that organisation and used (all or in part) for charitable or otherwise philanthropic or religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. As noted above, CASCs can also benefit from non-domestic rates relief.

Follow the latest charities law and regulation updates at @BCharitable

Alan Eccles

Partner at Brodies LLP
Alan is a Partner specialising in private client (succession, incapacity and asset protection) matters as well as the charities, third and impact sectors.
Alan Eccles