Over recent years we have seen more challenges from different local authorities where rates relief has previously been given and thought to be secured. Sometimes restructuring of your organisation can give an opportunity for questions to be raised about relief and changes in your activities as mentioned, but often without any changes at all your relief can be challenged and may not be as secure as you may have thought.
Charities that do pay rates, even at 20% , may still be incurring a significant cost to the overall organisation. It is often worth reviewing rateable values etc. with qualified surveyors to see if cost savings can be made.
The government are currently carrying out a wide fundamental review of rates in England, and proposals such as shortening the periods of review may impact the charity sector.