Business rates

The rules on non-domestic rates in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales differ slightly from those for England. This section sets out the rules for England. Business rates were fully devolved to Wales from April 2015.

Business rates apply to non-domestic property and are payable to the local authority by the occupier. Mandatory relief from business rates is available where the ratepayer is a charity (or trustees for a charity) and the hereditament is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

The key points to determine are therefore:

  • who is in occupation and
  • whether the property is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Local Authorities can also give discretionary relief for the balance, but there appears to be little consistency between Local Authorities in the application of the discretionary relief.

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