Landlords cut deals with charities to reduce tax bills

Landlords with empty premises are exploiting a tax break intended for charities to avoid paying business rates. Many high streets with empty stores and boarded-up properties are therefore witnessing an increase in the number of charities that are popping up all over the high streets.

As charities normally pay significantly lower business rates (20 per cent), landlords are choosing charities as their new tenants in order to pay less tax on those properties.

Current legislation forces landlords to pay business rates on properties that are empty. Charities, however, receive an 80 per cent tax exemption. Landlords who have empty properties therefore have an attractive alternative to keeping their properties empty.

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