Council tax reductions
Discounts and disregards
The full council tax bill is based on two adults living in a property.
- If there is only one adult living in a property, the bill will be reduced by 25%
- If the property is no-one’s main residence and is in use as a second home the bill will be reduced by 10%.
When we are deciding how many adults are living in a home we do not count the following people.
- Students, student nurses, apprentices and people on a youth training scheme.
- Patients who live in hospital.
- People residing in a care home, nursing home or hostel.
- People who are severely mentally ill.
- Young people over 18 who you still receive child benefit for.
- Care workers on low pay (usually working for charities).
- People who are caring for someone with a disability who is not their husband, wife, partner or child under 18.
- Members of visiting forces.
- Members of religious communities.
Please contact us if you think you may be entitled to a discount.
If your bill shows that you have been given a discount, make sure you are still entitled to it. If your circumstances change so that the discount should no longer apply, or be of a lesser amount, you must let us know. You may have to pay a penalty if you do not do this.
Reductions for disable persons
If you, or someone who lives with you, need a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your home for wheelchair use, to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax bill.
The bill may be reduced to reflect that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown on the valuation list. These reductions ensure that disabled people do not pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability.
From 1st April 2000 properties in Band A can now qualify for this reduction and will receive a reduction of 1/6th of the standard charge.
Please contact us if you would like more details, or if you are receiving this reduction and the circumstances under which it was granted have changed.
Council tax is not charged on occupied homes which:
- only students live in
- only people under 18 live in
- only people who are severely mentally ill live in (if they would otherwise be responsible for the council tax payments)
- a liable person resides there as a diplomat
- are 'granny flats' forming part of a single property, where a dependant relative of the taxpayer lives
Unfurnished empty homes, needing major repairs or structural alterations to render them habitable will be exempt from council tax for up to a maximum period of twelve months.
Unfurnished empty homes will be exempt from council tax for up to six months from:
- the last time anyone lived in them; or
- when they were built (for new properties).
Council tax is not charged on empty homes which:
- a charity owns (exempt for up to six months)
- are empty because the person who lived there is in prison, hospital or a home
- are empty because the person who lived there has gone to live with someone else to receive care or has moved to care for someone else
- are empty while the trustee is waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted
- have been repossessed
- a student owns and was the last person to live in it
- a bankrupt person’s trustee is responsible for
- are empty because nobody can live in them by law
- a minister of religion is waiting to move into.
Please contact us if you think your property should be exempt from council tax.
As part of its duty to continually safeguard public funds, the council is committed to a project called the National Fraud Initiative. Section 6 Audit Commission Act requires the council to participate in it. This project will also involve data matching and you are alerted to the fact that data held by the council about you may be used for this purpose.
The council would like to take the opportunity to remind you to notify them if you are receiving a discount or exemption and the circumstances of your household have changed such that the discount or exemption should no longer apply (or be for a lesser amount).
You have a legal obligation to tell the council if this is the case and you may face a penalty and further legal action if you fail to do so. If you are in any doubt please contact us on 01524 582900.