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Non-Domestic Rates - Rates Relief for Charities, Non-Profit Organisations, Empty Properties and Other Information


About this guidance 

This document provides guidance on mandatory and discretionary rates relief and rates reduction schemes.  This guidance applies to Wales only.  

The guidance does not replace any existing non-domestic rates legislation or any guidance on reliefs not specified in this guidance (eg. small business rates relief).  

Enquiries regarding this guidance should be sent to:

Non-Domestic Rates Policy Branch
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

A range of other mandatory and discretionary non-domestic rates reliefs are also available and provide assistance for specified types of property.

Our Business Wales webpages provide information for ratepayers on rates relief schemes.


The purpose of this document is to provide general information and guidance for billing authorities in relation to awarding mandatory and discretionary relief and reductions for non domestic rates (NDR) under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (the 1988 Act) (as amended).  It covers the schemes available for charitable bodies, other not-for-profit organisations, empty property, partly occupied property, hardship and local discretionary relief.
Non-domestic rates policy has been devolved to Wales since 1999.  Responsibility for the fiscal management of NDR remained with HM Treasury until 1 April 2015 when this responsibility was also transferred to the Welsh Government.  This resulted in changes to the budgetary arrangements for non domestic rates in Wales.  Since this date, the rates revenue collected in Wales directly affects the amount of funding available to the Welsh Government for public services.  All the non-domestic rates revenue raised in Wales is distributed to local government through the annual settlements to support expenditure on local services.  All transactions relating to non-domestic rates are managed through the non-domestic rates pool for Wales by the Welsh Government.

Authorities are asked to review their current practices in relation to rates relief, taking account of good practice as outlined in this document.  It is for each authority to judge whether the criteria in the guidance are applicable in each case and what weight, if any, should be attached to them.  

This guidance covers mandatory and discretionary reliefs.  An authority’s approach to awarding discretionary rates relief will depend on local circumstances and the make-up of its tax-base.  

The provisions governing how the different reliefs are funded are set out in The Non Domestic Rating Contributions (Wales) Regulations 1992 (the Regulations).  The Regulations set out the percentage which is funded through the non domestic rates pool and the percentage that is borne by the authority for each type of relief.  Annex A contains a summary table of the key information for each relief scheme.  

This guidance is issued under powers available to the Welsh Ministers in section 47(5D) of the 1988 Act in relation to discretionary relief.  The Welsh Ministers also exercise their power to issue this guidance under section 60 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.  

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.