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Luton Borough Council

Charitable rate relief

Charities, community amateur sports clubs and bodies not established or conducted for profit may claim relief.

Relief available

Organisations that are recognised as charities for UK tax purposes can claim 80 per cent relief from the business rates if:

  • the charity (or trustees of the charity) is the rate payer
  • the charity uses the property wholly, or mainly, for charitable purposes

If the property is unoccupied, the intention must be to use it for charitable purposes.

For charity shops, the charity must use the property wholly or mainly to sell goods donated to it. It must also use the net proceeds for the purposes of the charity.

About charities

A charity is an organisation established for charitable purposes. To have charitable status usually means that you're included in the Charity Commissioner's register of charities. There are some charities that do not need to register. These are known as 'excepted charities' and include organisations such as:

  • church commissioners
  • some Scout Association and Guide Association units
  • voluntary schools

If you're not in the register of charities or an 'excepted charity', we can still treat you as a charity if you have a letter from HM Revenue and Customs stating that, for tax purposes, you are treated as a charity.

Mandatory rate relief for community amateur sports clubs

We treat sports clubs which have registered for Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in a similar way to registered charities and will give them 80 per cent mandatory relief if:

  • the club is the rate payer
  • the club uses the property wholly, or mainly, for purposes of the club or other registered clubs

If the property is unoccupied, the intention must be to use it for the club or other registered clubs.

Discretionary rate relief

Any organisation that qualifies for 80 per cent mandatory rate relief may also apply for discretionary relief for all or part of the remaining 20 per cent of its bill.
We can grant up to 100 per cent discretionary rate relief if an organisation is not a charity, but has been set up for these purposes:

  • religious
  • social welfare
  • artistic
  • educational
  • recreational
  • not run to make a profit

Applications can now be submitted for the 2022-23 financial year.
To apply for either mandatory and/or discretionary rate relief for the 2022-23 financial year please complete the form below.

© 2023 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ