Discretionary Business Rates Reliefs

Milton Keynes Council (MKC) has discretion to award additional relief to charities and non-profit making organisations under s47 of the Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) 1988.

For guidance on Discretionary Rate Relief for charities and non profit making organisations, please see our  Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines (DOCX, 148KB) 

To claim this reduction you will need to download and complete a Discretionary Rate Relief application form - 

You can also obtain a form by contacting us, see contact section. Please ensure you have read the guidance notes before completing and submitting your form, it is important that you provide all of the supporting information and evidence with your application.

Discretionary relief

Discretionary relief can reduce your bills by up to 100% of the charge. This could be either;

  • a 'top-up' of up to 20% for organisations that have already been awarded the 80% per cent mandatory charitable relief, or
  • varying relief for non-profit making organisations

To qualify for this type of relief your organisation must meet one of the following criteria:

  • it must be a charity or not for profit organisation
  • its main objectives are charitable, philanthropic or religious, or are concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts

A significant portion of any discretionary relief granted is funded directly by MKC, and because of this, the Local Government Finance Act  (LGFA) requires that the relief granted is in the general interests of MKC tax payers. For example,

  • Providing facilities which benefit the MKC tax payers directly  
  • Reduce the demand for MKC services.

The form is designed to assist in this determination. The determination is entirely a decision for MKC.

Generally, discretionary relief will be awarded for the whole of the financial year (April to March) unless your organisation is not liable for the whole period, or does not fulfil the criteria for the whole period.

It will be up to the individual ratepayer to ensure that an application is submitted each December to guarantee that their application form is processed in time for the upcoming financial year. If this is not returned then your relief will cease at the end of March.

It is essential that you report any changes of circumstances as they occur and not wait for the review form as this could affect your relief determination.

Guidance notes

If you wish to apply for discretionary relief you should

  • Check the use of the property against the attached guidelines
  • Fully complete the application form
  • Ensure that the form is signed. (This can be electronic)

Please return the form and the supporting evidence to the postal or email address on the form.

An application will only be considered when you have fully completed the application form and provided supporting evidence.

What to do while waiting for a decision

Continue to pay in line with your current demand notice. If the reduction is then awarded, you will then be issued with a further demand notice and new payment instructions. This will take account of any payments you have already made.

When we have made a decision

When we have received your completed application form we will verify the information provided. We may also arrange for one of our inspectors to visit the property. Once a decision has been made we will write to you to confirm this.

Last Updated: 18 December 2020