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NHS drops court appeal for charitable business rates discount

March 1, 2021

NHS Trusts have dropped their petition to the Court of Appeal, which could have resulted in a £2.35 billion refund, backdated to the 1st April 2010.

U.K. registered charities and some not-for-profit companies can apply to their local authority for an 80% relief from their business rates payments, as well as further discretionary grants if they qualify. The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB), along with 16 other trusts, believed they should be treated similarly to charities and receive the 80% reduction from their business rates bills.

The High Court rejected the case in 2019, but 11 of the trusts said they would petition to the Court of Appeal, but subsequently dropped the petition, resulting in their hospitals continuing to pay full business rates.  

The UHDB argued the money saved from the excessive business rate charges “could’ve otherwise been spent improving services for our patients.”

The government is in the process of reviewing the business rates system and a ‘Fundamental Review’ is due to be published in Autumn 2021, though the Local Government Association commented following the rejection of the case in 2019, that it was “good news for councils” as they rely heavily on business rates as “an extremely important source of income.”

If you are a landlord or occupier requiring business rates advice or recommendations on grants, charitable relief, discretionary relief and exemptions available to you, CPRA are specialists in all rating matters, including mitigation and appeal work. Feel free to contact our business rates department on 020 7770 8000 or email info@cpragroup.com.

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